For the full benefits of health related fitness you must include aerobic exercise routines into your overall exercise plan.
Obviously the amount of aerobic exercise you do, and the specific aerobic activities you perform, will largely depend on your ultimate fitness goal. For example, if you’re training for a marathon you’ll have to incorporate a lot more endurance running into your workout routines than swimming or cycling.
But if general fitness is your goal, as in working all the components of fitness that contribute to health related fitness, then you’re better off adding several aerobic exercise routines to your arsenal.
By adding several different types of aerobic exercise, you’ll get a much better overall muscle conditioning than performing a single exercise repetitively. This is good as it will help reduce the risk of picking up an injury, the last thing you want to do!
So What Should Your List of Aerobic Exercise Routines Contain?
What comprises your list of aerobic activities is purely down to personal choice. It doesn’t really matter for general fitness, so long as you get your heart and lungs working for an extended period of time. The benefits of aerobics are the same whatever your chosen activity.
If you are only just embarking on your home fitness journey then take a look at this short list of aerobic activities to give you some ideas. But you probably already have an idea of the exercises you want to do.
Try and pick at least 3 of the exercises, and as an absolute minimum pick 2. You should alternate between these aerobic exercises so you get an all over good muscular balance.
Picking several exercises also has the added benefit of helping to keep your motivation high. As I always say, the importance of motivation in achieving your fitness goals is just so…important! Without motivation to exercise you’ll be forever stuck at the start line.
Example Aerobic Exercise Routines
As an example we’ll take a quick look at adding running or jogging to your list. If you’re new to running you’re best off looking into a beginners’ running program to get the most out of it.
You want to build up gradually, aiming first for endurance and then looking at your speed afterwards. Say your fitness goal is to build up to an hour of endurance running. Start off running twice per week and add another one or two sessions of aerobic exercise, but of a different activity.
Begin by running for 5 minutes following by 5 minutes walking, and repeat this for 30 minutes. Each week add a further 5 minutes running/walking. Once you get to an hour, start increasing your running time each week whilst decreasing your walking. Go for 6 minutes running and 4 minutes walking, then the following week go for 7 minutes running and 3 minutes walking. And so on until you reach your fitness goal and can run for a solid hour.
Once there, if you want to progress, you can start adding HIIT training or Tabata training to increase your speed and aerobic capacity.
You can do something very similar with cycling, rowing, swimming, etc. It’s all about progressively increasing your physical stress until you reach your ultimate fitness goal. There is a growing array of free workout plans that you can use to get you started or to add something new to your existing aerobic exercise. See what you like, use it or change it as you wish. You can even add your own workout plan to the list if you think the home fitness community might benefit.