6.8.09

30 minute aerobic workout to get you in shape

Aerobic and cardio workouts don't have to take hours and hours in order for you to benefit from them. Here is a good aerobic workout you can do 3-4 times a week.

1) First, do a 5 minute warm-up of aerobic movement like some light jogging in place or brisk walking to increase blood flow to your muscles. Contrary to what most people think, it is not good to start with stretching before aerobic exercise. The reason why is because before you do any exercise your muscles are colder and tighter. Stretching a muscle that hasn't been warmed up is a good way to tear that muscle and injure yourself (I've done it and it isn't pretty). If the weather is cold, you may need to warm up with light aerobic exercise for ten minutes instead of five.

2) After the warm up, do 20 minutes of an aerobic or cardio exercise that you enjoy doing. As long as the aerobic activity you choose gets your heart pumping and your lungs increasing your oxygen intake, you're good. See, the aerobic exercise that you pick isn't as important as finding something that you like doing so you will be motivated to keep doing it. For example, I don't like running around a track (its boring to me) but I love to dance. So I'll turn on some music and just do my thing. I swear, the time goes by like that! Sometimes I'll keep dancing longer just because I'm having fun. If dancing or running isn't your thing, find another aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise also has many health benefits such as decreasing stress, boosting the immune system, and ridding the body of waste and toxins.

3) After the 20 minute aerobic session, its time for the cool down. The cool down is just as important as the warm-up. The cool down helps your breathing and heart rate return to a normal state. You can do the same light aerobic exercise like jogging in place or brisk walking that you did in the warm up and do it for the same 5-10 minutes.

4) After the cool down, it is now a good time to do your stretching since your muscles are still warmed up from the aerobic workout. When you stretch, do not bounce as this can tear and injure a muscle. Also, experts have said that it is best to hold a stretch for around 30 seconds in order to increase flexibility. If you feel pain when stretching your muscles, you may be stretching them too hard or you may have an injury.

5) Combining aerobic exercise with weekly strength training exercise will increase your ability to burn fat. Before beginning an aerobic or strength training exercise program, it is best to get the approval of your doctor.

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