Get a Step Aerobics Routine Started: A Beginner’s Guide to Step Aerobics Routines
What Is Step Aerobics?
Step aerobics is a type of exercise where the body is required to move through various motions without any fixed position or time limit. These movements are performed with little or no equipment other than your own strength and flexibility. You might think that these movements would not be very effective for building muscle mass because they do not require much effort from the muscles involved. However, studies have shown that these types of exercises are beneficial for increasing lean muscle mass (muscle tissue) and improving overall health.
How Does It Work?
The main goal of step aerobics is to improve balance and coordination. The steps themselves are usually short and easy to perform. There are several different types of step aerobics routines available, such as those involving jumping jacks, skipping stones, hopping rope, running up stairs or simply walking around a room. Each type requires its own set of exercises and techniques that will build upon each other.
Step aerobics routines have been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mood and relieve stress. It is a great way to keep your muscles toned and can even help with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. In order to perform this type of exercise, you must first become familiar with the equipment that is available to you, find a suitable routine for your skill level, and then perform each step of the routine with proper posture and form.
How Is Step Aerobics Different From Other Forms of Exercise?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not necessarily have to join a gym or spend hundreds of dollars on an exercise machine in order to pursue a healthy lifestyle. There is a wide range of equipment available for use at your own home and a variety of exercise books and magazines that can help you pick the right routine for your skill level. Because each person is different, you may need to experiment a bit in order to find the program that works best for you or simply continue progressing through the steps of one routine until it stops working.
Most people cannot afford to take an aerobics class at their local gym on a regular basis. Fortunately, it is possible to get similar benefits at home by performing step exercises. Many DVDs and books are available for sale that can help you get started. Some are more advanced than others, so you may have to research a bit before picking one out.
The routines are not extremely complicated, but learning them does require a certain degree of concentration. You really need to be fully aware of what you are doing in order to get the most out of the experience and avoid getting hurt.
Be sure to take things slow at first. It can take several weeks or even months before your muscles and joints grow accustomed to this kind of movement. It is a good idea to stretch first in order to prevent injury. Start out by warming up with a slower pace before going full speed and never push yourself too hard.
Use the exercises as an opportunity to check and make sure that your posture is correct. Your neck, back and knees should all be straight and aligned properly in order to avoid hurting yourself.
How Can I Tell If an Exercise Is Too Easy or Too Hard?
New exercisers usually start out by selecting a DVD or book that is rated too easy for their skill level. This can actually be beneficial in the long run since it allows you to get a feel for the movements and techniques involved without being pushed too hard too fast. As you get more experienced, you will naturally be ready to move on to something more challenging.
On the other hand, some people may choose a program that is too hard. This can lead to frustration and possibly even physical injury if you try to keep up with the routines. If this happens, you can either keep working at it until you grow accustomed to the movements or start over with a different exercise until you find one that works for you. Sometimes people just need a different approach in order to get the hang of things.
What Else Should I Keep in Mind?
Do not feel that you have to follow along with the people in the video. It may help you to watch others in order to learn the proper techniques, but you can always just do your own thing once you are comfortable with the routine. Make sure that you are breathing correctly at all times. Most of the exercises should be coordinated with a deep inhale and a long exhale. Keep plenty of water on hand as you will be sweating a lot.
Many people choose to exercise first thing in the morning since it is the best time to get it out of the way and have the rest of the day to enjoy. However, others feel most comfortable working out later in the day or even at night. Do whatever works best for you and will keep you motivated to stick with it. You want your exercise program to fit in with the rest of your day instead of making you feel stressed out about fitting it into your schedule.
When you are feeling really adventurous, you can add some strength training into your program. This can be done with small hand held weights that can easily fit into a bag or suitcase. A routine of lifting weights should definitely be left until after you have been doing your regular program for at least a month. It is also very important to learn the proper techniques and to never try to lift too much weight as this can lead to injury.
Always use common sense and you should have no problems.
Walking is another great form of exercise that can be done anywhere you happen to find yourself. It is low impact and has the added benefit of also helping you to explore new places when you have the time.
Where Can I Find a Workout Partner?
Many people prefer to exercise with someone else for moral support and to help encourage them to keep going when they would rather quit. This can be a spouse, friend or relative that lives with you or someone that lives in the same town. If you do not have anyone in mind, there are plenty of online message boards where you can make new friends with people who share your interests. You can also look into the local college to see if they offer a group exercise program that suits your needs.
If your schedule does not permit you to exercise at a particular time, see if you can work something out with your partner or see if there is another group in the area that meets at a different time. This will give one of you the opportunity to take a rest while the other one is working out. One of you can also work out while the other one is sleeping if you do not have much free time during the week.
Enlisting the help of a personal trainer is also an option to consider if you do not feel that you know enough to create an exercise routine. They will be able to provide you with one that fits your needs and will show you exactly how to do each exercise safely and correctly. Always make sure they are certified before you begin working with them.
As you can tell, there are many options for working out. You just need to pick the one that is right for you and your situation. Be sure to always warm up and stretch before you begin your workout and cool down and stretch afterwards. This will help to prevent injuries while you are exercising.
All of these tips should help you to get started on a new and healthier you. Be sure to give yourself a break and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the changes as quickly as you would like. Keep in mind that in most cases it takes at least a month for a change in routine to truly become a habit so give yourself some time. Soon enough you will be feeling great and everyone will be asking what your secret is!
Continue Reading: Part 2: Keeping the Weight Off
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