Discover The benefits of Consistent Aerobic Exercise
The Graph above shows the dramatic decline in your aerobic fitness when you don’t exercise for 5 consecutive weeks. Keep reading for more detail.
Want to improve your Fitness Level?
Aerobic exercise is typically the most popular type of exercise. Anyone trying to get fit, improve their fitness or lose weight usually starts here.
But did you know that if you don’t exercise consistently you could lose as much as 80% of your fitness level! Keep reading to know why and discover the benefits of aerobic exercise.
There are 2 Main Terms used to measure your fitness level:
- Aerobic capacity
- VO2 MAX
These are measures of how much oxygen your body can use up in one minute. This is one of the most common ways of measuring your fitness level.
You’ll see me use these terms throughout this page and other exercise related pages on this site.
Why is aerobic exercise so important?
It is generally the best type of exercise to improve your fitness level. Some gyms will conduct fitness tests in your induction, to create more accurate goals.
Besides, being aerobically fit has many benefits that are even more noticeable in diabetics than non-diabetics. Let’s face it, not everyone has to worry about their blood sugar levels or having normal blood pressure.
So what are the benefits of Aerobic Exercise for diabetics?
- Better Breathing Rate – You’ll feel more comfortable before and after exercise since your breathing will be more controlled.
- Lower pulse rate – Means less stress on your heart, improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Improved energy release – As your heart gets stronger, so too will your blood flow, helping you control your appetite. And as all this happens, your metabolism will improve, as you break down any excess fat. Meaning you’ll lose weight if you need to.
How often do I have to exercise to reap these benefits?
Assuming that you are unfit, out of shape or haven’t CONSISTENTLY exercised for a year or more, exercise 3 times a week for 30 mins each. You’ll have to exercise CONSISTENTLY for about 2 – 6 months to become aerobically fit.
Once you are aerobically fit, you should note a noticeable difference to when you started. Along with the benefits above, you may feel less stressed, more energetic and possibly, mentally stronger!
But EVEN BETTER, is the fact that you won’t have to exercise as often.It is possible to maintain these benefits with 2-3 sessions a week, for only 20 minutes each.
Obviously, if you choose to do more that’s great. In fact you may be able to optimise your aerobic fitness by doing so.
So how will I know when I am aerobically fit?
There are many tools and techniques to measure this, some of which can be bought. Some gyms may be able to measure your aerobic fitness as well. But for the best advice, check with your doctor/dietician.
Ideally you should consult your doctor/dietician before you start any new aerobic exercise program and periodically throughout. They will be able to help you set realistic targets and accurately measure your progress.
This data can then be graphed, or put in a table for visual reference of your achievements. Aerobic exercise can be more effective when measured this way.
Why is consistency so important?
There have been many studies that show that the effects of exercise ARE REVERSIBLE. For example, “after two weeks with no aerobic exercise, VO2 MAX drops by up to 15%. After 4 – 12 weeks of not exercising, [detraining occurs]”. Quoted from Time-Life books.
Detraining is the term used when 50% of VO2 MAX (aerobic capacity) is lost.
In other words, if you are not consistent with your aerobic exercise, half of your gained benefits will be gone. Unfortunately this happens quite often.
Ever had a gym membership and quit? Ever had an exercise program and quit?
Well a lot of the time you spent doing those programs have been wasted, if you didn’t maintain an exercise program!
Why does getting fit vary from 2-6 months? That’s a huge gap!
Generally, it depends on your BMI (Body Mass Index). An obese person may take more time to get fit than someone overweight. Also, the amount of time that you haven’t been exercising, will affect this duration.
So how do I exercise aerobically?
There are 3 important elements that you should focus on when exercising. These elements will not only affect how quickly (or slowly) you become fitter but also how you feel during and after exercise.