So my last post was about the fantastic benefits of strength training. Now for the second big one from the recommendations made by one of the leading authorities on all things health and fitness, the ACSM, aerobic or cardiovascular or endurance training.
If you read a lot of stuff these days on the internet you could be forgiven for thinking that aerobic training is not only not necessary but destructive to your health. Now please!? Really? It always makes a great headline and certainly got me to click on it. There is something so very appealing about the outrageous headline that hits you square in the face and questions everything you thought to be true. But let’s just get back to common sense folks and know that large muscle group training doing rhythmic activities that require large muscle groups and considerable respiration is in fact a healthy thing for the average Jo cleared by his doctor for this kind of exercise. It is also the reason why we offer small group training predominantly focussed on aerobic fitness. Check out our new schedule here.
For starters though, lets just assume we are talking about the same thing when we speak about aerobic or cardiovascular training or endurance based workouts. Sure you can argue the finer points and how they refer to different things but for now let’s just put them in the same category as things referring to ”getting fitter”. There can be no argument that we would all like to be fit? Great, something the crazy headline grabbers can nod their head to. Of course, being fit means different things to different people but for the average person amongst us, we are talking about how you feel when you walk up a steep hill or set of stairs. If you are breathing really hard to achieve such a feat, you would say that you are unfit and you would be right. Most of us want to do things that will make our day to day demands easier. Enter the aerobic fitness training program. Just slotting in some quick self promotion of Best Practice Personal Training, said to be Brisbane’s best personal trainers looking after busy people in Ascot, Hamilton, Grange, Bowen Hills, Clayfield, New Farm, Teneriffe and Brisbane CBD (not just by me!) we are currently expanding our Intelligent Small Group Fitness Training Schedule. There is a pretty cool offer as well to get started. Check that out here. This program is available to all our personal training members as well as 10 new recruits. Think how great you will feel if you can get started now and see yourself breathing and generally performing better at the end of our Brisbane Winter. Okay enough of the join us now talk. After all, any move in the direction of wanting to get fitter has to come from your own motivation and drivers. You will know when you are ready because the doctor said something which has triggered something or you have noticed the deleterious effects of a not so fit life in someone you know or lived with and could potentially be like and therefore headed in a direction that is not so appealing. Read: early death.
Okay what is the definition, in a bit more detail, of “Aerobic training”. We will get to the big 7 things…. soon enough.
I alluded to it already but if you want the text book definition of aerobic training according to Merriam-Webster and I have paraphrased a little here: “A system of conditioning aimed at improving the ability of the body to take in, transport and utilise oxygen for the purpose of physical activity using large muscle groups in a sustained and rhythmic fashion” I have also seen it described as exercising in a way that allows the cardiorespiratory system to supply enough oxygen for it to continue constantly at the same rate. Some examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, paddling, cycling, kickbiking, rowing, skipping, boxing and swimming. All these can become anaerobic activities meaning that you have use other energy pathways other than the aerobic to continue doing them. This is another entirely different post, so just for now, think aerobic training is exercising in a way that works the heart and lungs and is maintainable for an extended period of time and if done often enough with enough recovery will lead to a more efficient energy delivering (oxygen) system, in simple terms, things that used to be hard to do like walking up that hill have now become easier to do. Good thing!
That seems like a good segue to the 7 best things that aerobic training leads to:
- The obvious one is that you get, what most people would describe as “fitter”
- When done correctly or by the right body type you can become leaner. Yes you can lose body fat. There sensationalists who say it is all things evil when it comes to losing body fat!
- You not only will strengthen the muscles involved in the activity but also the heart and lungs. If you have heard the effort it takes for someone with emphysema to take a breath you will actively seek this one out.
- Just on the heart thing you can actually increase the size of your heart so it pumps slower. You know how stuff wears out in your car, same thing in your body. If something has to work a little less then it is reasonable to expect a longer useful period and dare I say, life! Ah. Good thing!
- Reduces blood pressure. You know those tablets that the pharmaceutical companies want you on for the rest of your life. Well screw them and screw that.
- Improved mental health. The studies are pretty conclusive and there are lots of them. Aerobic training reduces depression. It doesn’t matter that they are not super certain why. It is not a big logic stretch even for the average person to see why having improved circulation might help clear out bad energy. If you aren’t sure yourself, see how you feel after doing something aerobic. I am sure you will experience the immediate positive effects and be right on board with number 6.
- This last one is a big one. Saw an interesting stat last night. 17 million people die of cardiovascular disease each year around the world which is the equivalent of 4 jumbo jets crashing every HOUR of every DAY! Aerobic exercise lessens your risk of this and also diabetes which has been described as approaching an epidemic by the international journal of the health sciences.
The approach we take to aerobic fitness training is that is should be fun but controlled in terms of intensity. We don’t mind throwing in the odd interval (increased intensity) because it has extra benefits when done the right way but in general you can easily see where you should be training zone wise. We use our My Zone heart rate monitoring system to track clients and see what is happening physiologically whilst they are exercising here in the studio in Bowen Hills but also, thanks to some cool technology, what they are doing intensity wise when not with us. Myself and the other coaches get updates on all clients activities straight to an app on our phone where we can easily interact and encourage.
I know it sounds a bit big brother but just think polite badgering from a caring partner in your journey to aerobic fitness! It is a tool that helps us help our clients stay with it. We also know how to deliver the right intensity for each individual who trains with us thanks to this system. We love seeing people start to feel the benefits of simply operating better in their day to day life because they have go in the habit of fitting in consistent training.
And when some of our fantastic members really get in to it, we enjoy the odd community event together because in the end it is all about the “useful fitness” ability created. Let’s face it, the reason we all train is to put our hard fought fitness to good use and do some fun and purposeful stuff in the real world, not the gym. Below is the recent 2017 Brissie to Bay done on our very cool kickbikes!
If you want to join us in our comprehensive and fun weekly intelligent small group fitness program check out this page.