Aerobic activity ranges from something as gentle as walking to more intense activities like cycling, rowing, and running. Aerobic exercise is anything that elevates your heart rate, gets your blood pumping through your veins, and gets you breathing deeply!
Now, most of us guys are aware that aerobic exercise is good for our heart and our waistline.
But did you know that aerobic exercise also increases your immune system, makes you smarter, and is scientifically proven to improve your mood…? It's all true.
In this blog, you'll discover some of the hidden benefits of aerobic exercise as well as how to make time for aerobics in your busy life.
Your body + aerobic exercise (here's what happens)…
Aerobic activity is commonly called “cardio” when you're at the gym.
When you engage in this type of workout, you are challenging your body and aerobic system (lungs, circulation system, and muscles) to work on a higher level than normal.
There are 4 key bodily responses to aerobic exercise.
First, you will breathe quicker and deeper– which increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Second, as you begin aerobic exercise, your heart will respond by beating quicker and maximizing the flow of blood to your muscles.
Third, Small blood vessels will then widen in order to provide more oxygen to your muscles, while also removing waste products like lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
After all of this, your body also releases endorphins and enkephalins which increase your sense of happiness and decrease your brain's perception of pain. These substances are what's responsible for “the runner's high.”
How do you benefit from aerobic exercise?
While we named a few benefits of aerobic exercise earlier, here is a list of some lesser-known benefits to help you realize how crucial aerobic exercise is for your health!
- Aerobics strengthen your immune system: Most guys don't know that consistent aerobic is research-proven to keep your immune system strong and help your body ward off common illnesses like the flu or a cold (1).
- Aerobics also increase your fat-burning capacity – long after you're done exercising: By regularly doing aerobic exercise, your muscles develop a higher number of mitochondria, which help you burn more fat at rest – even when you're not exercising (2).
- Aerobics help you live longer: According to the newest scientific research, those who engage in aerobic exercise live longer than those who do not (3).
- Aerobics make you smarter: New research also shows that aerobics increases your brain's production of a molecule called Irisin that improves memory and protects our brains against degeneration (4).
- Aerobics makes your heart stronger: Because aerobics train your heart to beat more efficiently, your heart doesn't have to work as hard. That's why aerobically fit people have lower heart rates than non-fit people. In fact, elite athletes often have resting heart rates as low as 40 beats per minute (the average man over 40's is 90bpm) (5).
- Aerobics ward off most major health risks: Studies also show that aerobics help reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure (6).
The benefits of aerobic exercise sound pretty compelling, right? Read on to learn how to make exercise a priority in your busy life.
Integrate aerobic activity into your daily life
It's not hard to start engaging in aerobic activity.
You don't need any fancy equipment. All you really need is yourself, a bit of room, and motivation to begin.
One of the things I love about aerobic activity is that it doesn't need to take place at a gym and doesn't need to cost you a dime.
Start out by walking or jogging around your neighborhood before you go to work.
Even a 15-minute walk before work (or during your lunch break) can have some serious health benefits. That's an extra 75-minutes of exercise each week with this simple habit alone. If you're ambitious and work relatively close to where you live, you could bike to work!
And once winter decides to wane, you can swim laps at your local pool. All of these exercises, which are as free as the day is long, are aerobic exercises that will increase your overall health and fitness.
The Time-Saving Secret: Combine aerobics + strength training
As busy guys, it's often hard to find the time to do 1-hour of aerobic exercise – even though we know how good it is for us.
That's why here at The Fit Father Project, we recommend that you combine your aerobic exercise with your strength training to create one time-efficient workout that gives you best health benefits of all worlds.
As we like to say here at The FFP… “Do your cardio 3x/week… with weights in your hands.”
Here's how to combine aerobics and strength training:
- Pick 5 strength training exercises you can easily do at home with a pair of dumbbells (i.e. pushups, squats, rows, shoulder presses, & curls).
- Create a simple circuit where you do these 5-exercises back-to-back without rest in between.
- Once you complete a full circuit (1 complete set of each exercise, you can rest before beginning your next circuit).
Here's an example of what a simple aerobics + strength training combination circuit could look like for you.
Even better, we can change up the reps and sets to make the workout even more effective. Check our free 24-minute fat burning aerobics + strength workout video for a complete exercise demo and download PDF of the workout.
Claim the benefits of aerobic exercise for yourself
Integrating aerobic activity into your life is a no-brainer.
It doesn't take any money or space– it just requires a bit of commitment.
Here at the Fit Father Project, we are committed to helping busy fathers find time and motivation for fitness in their lives.
We don't believe in expensive programs or restrictive diets. We believe in quality advice and positive lifestyle changes.
If you're interested in learning more about healthy lifestyles– from mental health to healthy eating to building clean muscle– you've come to the right place.
Our flagship health program, the FF30X, is a great page to visit if you want to learn more about our commitment to building Fit Fathers all around the world.
Thanks for stopping by,
P.S. If you haven't seen my FREE 1-Day Meal Plan for Men over 40, I highly recommend you click here to get a free copy sent directly to your email. Remember: nutrition is a core foundation of weight loss for men over 40.
A small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info into the benefits of aerobic exercise.