Aerobic exercise uses large muscle
groups rhythmically and continuously and elevates the heartrate and
breathing for a sustained period. Common examples include walking,
jogging/running, swimming, rowing, stairclimbing, bicycling, cross-country
skiing, step and dance exercise classes, roller skating, and the more
continuous forms of tennis, racquetball and squash.
Care and consideration should be used in
selecting types (modes) of aerobic exercise. Depending on
your goals, physical condition and injury/illness history, different types may
prove to be preferential for your particular situation. However, in general, it
is a good idea to "cross train". i.e., alternate between and among several
appropriate exercises. This strategy reduces the chances of overuse injuries,
imposes a more balanced conditioning stimulus and may enhance enjoyment.
Specifically, it is important to alternate forms of high impact exercises
(running, dance exercise, tennis, racquetball, squash) with low/moderate impact
aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, stairclimbing, step classes, rowing,
cross-country skiing). Prudent advice is no more than every-other-day for
high-impact activities; perhaps less if you are overweight, deconditioned or
you have an injury history or current problems with feet, ankles, knees, hips
or low back.
Although aerobic exercise is not technique
or concentration intensive, proper technique is still very
important to optimize your efficiency and prevent injuries. The way you observe
everyone else performing an aerobic exercise may not be the right way (e.g.,
"straight arming" and leaning over on the stairclimbing machines). Obtain
quality technique from an exercise physiologist/trainer.
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