Cardio workouts are among the best ways to lose weight and promote fat loss. Sometimes, though, it seems like a cardio workout has hit a dead end, and it isn't providing the results you want to see. When your cardio workout isn't melting away the fat and the pounds the way it used to, it's time to take it up a notch. One great way to do this is by adding step aerobics.
Basics of Step Aerobics
Step aerobics is a popular addition to any workout because it is a great combination of effectiveness and simplicity. Adding a step aerobics component to your workout is not a difficult task, but the results can be impressive.
All you need to add step aerobics to your workout is a step. This can be a step purchased from a fitness supply store specifically for step aerobics, or can be easily constructed from scratch. Next time you do your regular cardio workout, add stepping on and off the step to the routine. At first, the step should only be about four inches high, which doesn't seem like a lot, but you'll be surprised at the extra energy it takes to move on and off the step for a few minutes (within the course of your usual workout).
As you get used to the basics of step aerobics, try adding more complex movements to bring your workout up yet another notch. More advanced step aerobics workouts incorporate a higher step, diagonal movements, kicks, arm movements, and other additions designed to increase the aerobic benefits even more. Once you've gotten used to easier movements, step aerobics can be easily modified into a full-body workout
Benefits of Step Aerobics
Aside from just increasing the intensity of your workout, step aerobics provides other important benefits, including:
- Offers an intense but still low impact workout
- Helps work the knees and legs and strengthen the muscles that hold the patella in place
- Provides cardiovascular health benefits similar to those gained from running, but without the wear and tear
- Does not require expensive equipment
- Is easy to learn
To maximize these benefits, observe the following precautions:
- Limit steps up to five repetitions per side for each step aerobics section within your workout
- Be sure the step is an appropriate height--four inches for a beginner, no more than twelve inches for an expert
- Don't bend your knee past a ninety degree angle when stepping up
- Keep the workout pace between 118 and 122 beats per minute
For additional ideas about how to keep your step aerobics routine fresh and new, check out different moves and sequences available on various fitness sights, or consult with a personal trainer. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine to be sure you won't aggravate existing conditions. With step aerobics, this is particularly important if you have had problems in the past with your knees. While step aerobics can significantly strengthen the knees, it is important to build up the workout gradually to prevent causing additional damage if your knees are problematic from the start.
Above all, enjoy your workout, and happy stepping!