Laurel Dierking, MEd, NFPT

In my mind, the question should be asked this way; ‘Why ISN’T aerobic activity important?’ The reasons why aerobic exercise matters are too many to list, let alone read in one sitting. Not only is aerobic activity extremely beneficial to the entire metabolic and muscular systems within the body, it is vital for daily functioning down to the tiniest blood cell. Benefits in this broad range of results make for a powerful case toward aerobic exercise.

What is aerobic work? How does it help?
Aerobic exercise involves the use of oxygen transported to the working muscles during low intensity exercise. This is different from anaerobic work which does NOT require oxygen because during high intensity (anaerobic) exercise energy is required more quickly than during low intensity work. The key to fat conversion (metabolism) and long-term weight loss management is aerobic exercise because it uses stored fat as energy when performing low intensity work. Without oxygen, fat conversion is not accomplished. When the intensity of exercise goes up, so does the speed at which your body needs energy. Since fat conversion requires the uptake of oxygen, the process is too slow to provide the body with energy quick enough. The body will then seek carbohydrates for energy because they are available more quickly. Be aware that if the body is burning carbohydrates, the fat stays!!

Aerobic exercise is a powerful way to improve your overall quality of life and accomplish long-term weight loss management. The benefits of aerobic work can have a lasting impact on mental, physical and emotional health. Lower stress levels, improved heart health, sustainable energy, decreased joint pain, improved muscle tone are all results of consistent exercise. Whether you are affected by obesity, or of a normal body weight, exercising gives YOU the access to a healthier, happier body, clearer mind and a greater self-confidence by giving your body the opportunity to function at its fullest potential. Optimizing the incredible human immune system also keeps colds away, coughs, and sickness. It is a win-win! When done correctly, efficiently, and with correct form you can only gain from performing aerobic exercise. I would hope that it wouldn’t take much more convincing than that!

How much and what should I do?
Ideally, this would be the question to follow since you are now interested in obtaining all of these health benefits. Depending on when you were last on any regular exercise routine, and the current health state of your joints, you would want to slowly progress to being able to exercise for 15 to 60 minutes for ideally 3 to 4 times per week. This duration of activity is proven to improve metabolic functions, cardiovascular health and improve muscle tone.

Choosing which activity is the fun part. An opportunity to explore new and exciting places, meet new people and learn new things. Low intensity walking, biking, swimming, or even skating are all acceptable methods of aerobic exercise. What gets you up on your feet? Now is the time to find out!

So, why not?
You wouldn’t deprive your car of a needed oil change, would you? Exercise is the body’s maintenance checkup. Creating work for the body keeps organs, muscles and bones, in good health in the same fashion that fresh oil allows your vehicle to run. Give yourself a chance to unlock all of the powerful benefits of exercise and see for yourself just why exercise is good for you.

Find out what gets you on your feet and enjoying life. With consistency, body awareness and healthy nutrition, you will be able to feel for yourself all of the wonderful, life altering results of aerobic exercise beyond the obvious benefit of long-term weight loss management. You cannot lose, and can only gain. Give yourself the chance to be successful!

About the Author:
Working within the health field for three years, Laurel Dierking MEd, NFPT, is passionate about cultivating body, mind and spirit awareness through holistic health practices. As a Health and Fitness Professional and yoga instructor at JKFITNESS, Laurel strives to guide individuals on a path to self-awareness, long-term functional fitness, and weight-loss management.