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Exercising is an important activity to incorporate into a person's lifestyle. So it is imperative to add a number of different exercises into the daily fitness routine. Why not add a fun class such as step aerobics into the mix?

Cardiovascular Benefits of step aerobics     

Don't underestimate the effectiveness of this exercise. It was not only designed to suit the needs of women. Men can also reap many benefits from this exercise. It is a great way to burn calories because it alternates between high and low impact exercises. It is good for people who favor lower impact exercises, and also helps to work all the muscles in the body. What more could a person want in a fun and exhilarating exercise routine? 

The key to an effective exercise program is to incorporate the aspect of cardiovascular exercise. This allows the body to burn calories effectively all while working up a good sweat and increases blood circulation throughout the body. This exercise is effective for both men and women, because both men and women alike need a good cardiovascular workout to burn maximum calories.

Being able to effectively burns calories not only helps keep the body in shape, but also aides in weight loss as well. Sweating during exercise has been known to have many benefits because it does a number of things for the body. It helps rid the body of harmful toxins and helps to clear up the skin.     

Cardiovascular exercise  also helps the heart work in a productive manner by helping with increased blood circulation. Overtime cardiovascular exercise of all kinds have been shown to help prevent various types of cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke are some of the cardiovascular diseases people are affected with in their lives.      

Blood pressure is also a troublesome cardiovascular disease that effects millions of people worldwide. Researchers observed data from 1998 to 2000, gathered from 6,000 participants. They discovered that those who exercised regularly using various forms of cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, walking and cycling had lower blood pressure levels then those who participated in weightlifting and calisthenics. (Biomedicine, May 2002).  The American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Statistics Chart showed in 2006, it was discovered that as many as 80,000,000 people in the United States have at least one type of cardiovascular disease.

Beneficial to cholesterol levels

Step aerobics is also beneficial to cholesterol levels. Researchers in France discovered that step aerobics may boost the HDL cholesterol levels, which is considered to be the good type of cholesterol. This cholesterol helps to protect the body from various types of heart diseases. These researchers also discovered that both step aerobics and traditional low impact aerobics performed without the step improved their overall cholesterol levels. What was even more interesting is that the steppers also saw their HDL rise (Biomedicine, January 2002).   

Use Arm Movements for Maximum Caloric Burn     

Depending on your fitness level you can tailor this workout to suit you needs and cardiovascular goals. Many people incorporate more arm movements into the step exercises to maximize calorie burn and increase heart rate. If  lower impact exercise is what a person is after the use of smaller arm movements can be incorporated. It all depends on an individual's fitness goals and how much of a workout they are wanting to experience. 

People with Knee Problems

As people age their bodies produce less of the nutrients that the body needs to function at optimum level. It has been known older people lose bone density, this is due to the fact that calcium levels lower as people age.     

People who are afraid to participate in high impact exercises because of health conditions such as weak bones or past injuries can still benefit from step aerobics. They can do this by eliminating the step altogether and follow the same movements without the step. This will still give them a good workout, yet does not overly exert the body.     

This is very similar to low impact aerobics where most of the movements use all of the major muscle groups, but in a less strenuous way. This helps to lower the potential risk for injury that could be caused by high impact aerobics.

Which Muscle Groups are Worked?     

Each time a person steps onto the step they work various muscle groups. These muscle groups include larger muscles in the legs, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, the gluteus maxim-us the outer thighs, the inner thighs, and the calves.     

The quadriceps are the large muscles on the front of the leg, while the hamstrings are on the upper back part of the legs and connect to the gluteus maxim-us. The inner thighs run along the inner part of the leg, while the outer thighs run along the outer part of the leg and extend from the low and high hip.

Why Step Aerobics is not just for Women: It is Beneficial for Men as Well     

Since men and women have equal strength in their legs they can both benefit from step aerobic exercise. It helps them to burn more calories while simultaneously exercising the lower body. This is an excellent way for them to exercise various muscle groups have fun and add variety to their workout routines.     

Step aerobics is not just a sport for women, it helps to tone and strengthen the muscles in the legs. The adjustment of the step allows it to go from a regular cardiovascular workout to a higher impact aerobic workout which helps to maximize fat burning and cardiovascular fitness.       

Overview     

When men and women alike learn to incorporate step aerobics routine into their fitness goals they can achieve a number of desired results and benefits. Step aerobics has been shown to help exercise the heart in an effective manner, can help prevent cardiovascular disease and lowers cholesterol levels. It also helps to exercise the entire body, yet focuses more on lower body conditioning. Step aerobics also helps to maximize calorie burn and fat loss which is ideal for weight loss and weight control. The exercise routines are very flexible and can be adjusted according to the overall health of the person depending on what their fitness goals are. It is an excellent exercise for both overall body conditioning and cardiovascular fitness which helps promote overall health and well being.

  • Step Aerobics Increases Good Cholesterol, Bio-Medicine web site, January 10, 2002, Accessed November 14, 2009
  • Aerobics for Cutting Blood Pressure, Bio-Medicine, May 29, 2002, Accessed on November 14, 2009
  • Cardiovascular Disease Statistics Chart, The American Heart Association, Accessed on November 14, 2009
  • www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Aerobics--right-choice-for-Cutting-Blood-Pressure-4390-2/
  • www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Step-Aerobics-Increases-good-cholesterol--826-1/
  • www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4478