Aerobic exercise stimulates the heart rate and breathing rate to increase in a way that can be sustained for the exercise session. In contrast, anaerobic ("without oxygen") exercise is activity that causes you to be quickly out of breath, like sprinting or lifting a heavy weight.
The very word triggers groans of dread from even the most training-obsessed cyclists. But these short, misery-inducing efforts offer a huge fitness return for a comparatively small time investment. Even 20- to 30-second micro-intervals have been shown to increase V02 max, burn fat, and improve endurance.
Being distracted by a magazine, your Kindle, or a TV show on the elliptical is a workout killer, Santa Maria says. Focus on the workout, not a plotline. The Ultimate 20-Minute Elliptical Workout. Still not convinced the elliptical is hardcore? Try this interval workout, created by Weiner.
This old-school recess favorite has great fitness benefits for grown-ups. Jumping rope is an effective cardio exercise that works your arms, legs, and core, helps strengthen your bones, and improves balance. Try this routine, designed by Virginia-based jump-rope expert Buddy Lee (buddyleejumpropes.com).
Kettlebells are a great way to spice up the usual lifting routine. As with traditional strength training, two days a week is a great place to start—but don’t hesitate to weave those kettlebells into the standard weightlifting routine (dumbbells, bodyweight exercises, and cardio included!).
You should strive for 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, such as moderate-intensity running on a treadmill, five days per week. At a moderate pace, you could typically carry on a somewhat choppy conversation, but you couldn't sing. If you can't carve out 30 minutes at once, the American Heart Association reports that you can still benefit from doing a few shorter -- 10- to 15-minute -- sessions in a day, as long as it adds up to 150 minutes per week.
SOURCES: Roger Crozier, physical education teacher, Fox Run Elementary School, San Antonio, Texas, and training video advisor, American Heart Association "Jump Rope for Heart" • Peter Schulman, MD, associate professor, cardiology/pulmonary medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn.
Remember that stair climbing is a strenuous form of exercise so check with your healthcare professional before starting a new workout routine. Once your doc has given you the all clear, start off slow and easy and only increase the intensity and duration of your workouts gradually.
This workout is not focused on improving flexibility. Aerobic: Yes. Keep up a brisk pace to make it a good cardio workout. Strength: Yes. Your legs will get stronger from walking regularly. Sport: No. Race-walking is a sport, and you can often find charity walks to do with a group of people, but for most people, walking is not competitive. Low-Impact: Yes.