Saturday, July 26, 2008

Take charge !!! (For all of us Aerobics fanatics)

Till a few years ago, the aerobic class was the haven for ladies who wanted to shed weight! Now, thanks to the awareness about weight training, we do see a few ladies on the gym floor as well!!
What appalls me is the quality of the workout or whatever they make you do under the name of “aerobics”.
However, if you are reading this, I know that you are truly interested in your health and fitness status, and hence the following guidelines will help you get the best results out of the 1 hour that you spend in the aerobic class –

1) At the beginning of the class, check your Heart Rate [place your index and the middle finger towards the medial part, where the wrist begins, and count the pulses for 10 seconds. Multiply it by 6 to get the bpm (beats per minute) reading]. Consider this as your Starting Heart Rate (SHR).
Now, for effective fat and weight loss, your heart rate has to be in a targeted zone.
A very simple formula is –
Target Heart Rate = Between MHR x 0.6 and MHR x 0.7 (for beginners)
Where, MHR = 220 – Your Age.
For example, if I am 40 years old, then
MHR = 220 – 40 = 180 &
THR = 180 x 0.6 = 108 bpm and THR = 180 x 0.7 = 126 bpm
This means, while working out, your Heart Rate has to be between 108 bpm and 126 bpm, measured in the same way, as mentioned above.
Being above or below these ranges does not give the desired results.

2) Aerobic workouts are designed to go on continuously for 45 minutes to an hour, since the fat burning mechanism of the body kicks into action only for prolonged durations. As such, there should not be too much of very high intensity moves likes kicks, jumps etc., since fatigue sets in and exercising for 45-60 min becomes difficult. Fat burning happens when the activity is sustained for at least more than 25 to 30 minutes.

Here are a few other things that I have commonly observed, and which need to be avoided –
3) Do not stop suddenly in between the session or after doing a cardio session.
While doing any cardio activity, which generally uses the leg muscles, all the blood is directed towards the legs (blood pooling). When you stop suddenly, the blood, due to gravity, pools in the legs, causing a reduced blood supply to the brain, and hence may make you feel dizzy.
Solution – Keep moving, walking, or marching, and gradually come to a stop at the end of a high-intensity routine.

4) While using a STEP in the Aerobics batch, always remember to stay near the STEP (maximum of 1 foot away), very uncommonly seen in the sessions. Stepping far away, increase the lower back curvature, putting excess stresses on your spine, thereby increasing your chances of lower back problems.

5) Another very commonly observed problem, is when people are constantly on their forefoot, and forget to place their whole feet on the ground, especially pronounced during a STEP session.
This is especially pronounced, when the music is very fast. Constant movement on the forefoot, shortens your calves and Achilles tendon, and gives rise to inflammation or tightness of the calves and nearby muscles.
Solution – Make a conscious effort to place your full feet on the ground, during the floor or STEP sessions.
6) And last but not the least, remember to sip water in between the workout to avoid de-hydration.

No comments: