The Benefits of Step Aerobics
Step aerobics, simply put is the aerobics in which a step or similar stepping device is used. Generally the person exercises to music. Step aerobics entails going up and down on the steps in rhythm with the music.
The 2 types of step exercises:
Power step or high impact stepping.
This is best done by experienced persons because of the intensity of the motions
Double step aerobic:
This routine is done with two steps hence the name.
Step aerobics unlike some other forms of exercises requires no special guidance or training. The height of the steps can be adjusted for added intensity and a greater workout as you become more proficient. The steps are normally between four to ten inches high, with beginners starting with the four-inch step.
Step aerobics tends to be livelier and more enjoyable than regular aerobics because the steps add to the range of motions and keeps it from being boring. The fact that less dance movements are needed also makes it easier for some persons to do.
What are the benefits of step aerobics?
Like regular aerobics step aerobics provides great cardio workout, but using the steps in the routine increases the level of intensity. The benefits to be had from step aerobics are similar to those received from running.
Additional benefits of step aerobics include lower cholesterol levels, and increased burning of calories. It also helps to lower the risk of heart disease. A study done by scientists in Turkey, which was published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, showed that step aerobics not only helps lower cholesterol, but also seemed to help increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL).
Less stress on the joints compared to some other sports
A big plus is the fact that this exercise does not place the joints, especially knees, under intense pressure as does running. This is the reason why step aerobics is called a low impact activity, and has become so popular with fitness enthusiasts.
This does not mean that the knees are free from impact, so if you have problems with your knees or hips you may want to go easy on step aerobics.
Because it uses very little space and is relatively easy to do, step aerobics is ideal for the more confined space of the home. There are many training tapes available for beginners with instructions on how to perform step aerobics correctly. Posture and stepping are the two most important parts of the exercise that you need to pay special attention to. Apart from the steps the only other essential item is a good pair of exercise shoes.
To avoid being injured, pay attention to:
- How hard you step on and off the bench
- How far you step from the bench
- How fast the music is
- How well you follow instructions.
Because it is low impact, step aerobics does not require that you step too hard when coming off the bench as this will only serve to cause injury.