Step aerobics

Step aerobics: an essential workout for entire body

Doing step aerobics regularly gives you a well-sculpted body and a healthy you

Aerobic exercises are an important part of a well-rounded exercise routine. Many different exercises can give you an effective cardiovascular workout and step aerobics is one of them. Step aerobics is a choreographed routine of stepping up and down on a rectangular, square or circular platform. Step aerobics was conceptualized and created by Gin Miller in 1989 after a knee injury. She was advised to strengthen the muscles supporting the knee by jumping up and down a milk crate; this is how she developed the regimen.

Benefits of step aerobics

Exercises involving step aerobics provides several fitness benefits that can help in performing well in other sports as well as leading a stress free daily life.

  • Improved cardiovascular and muscular endurance: Regular sessions would help in significantly improving muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved coordination and agility: As step aerobics’ incorporates both upper and lower body movements, it helps in increasing coordination and flexibility
  • Improved leg strength: Constant pushup onto the step helps in increasing leg strength
  • Increased efficiency of heart and lungs: As it is an intense cardiovascular workout, step aerobics make your heart and lungs work more efficiently
  • No more weight related problems: The calorie burning aspect of this exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight related problems like diabetes, heart disease and joint pain
What to wear for a step aerobics class?

There are shoes made specifically for step aerobics; with sturdy ankle support, a bit stiff along the sides, have plenty of flexibility at the ball and cushioning at the heel of the foot. However, a good pair of aerobics shoes with similar features would suffice as well. Avoid running shoes though, as you may stumble and fall.

What to expect in a step aerobics class?

1) What it does?
With step aerobics, heart and lungs work more efficiently and it tones your butt and thighs. It helps in developing balance and flexibility and is a terrific cross-training activity for runners, cyclists and walkers.

2) The exhaustion factor
It depends on the choreography, the pace and height of your step. Generally, more complex the choreography and higher the step; the tougher the workout. Never use a platform so high that your knee is higher than your hip when you step up.

3) The coordination factor and calories burned
The calories burned are 94-171 calories in 12 minutes and the coordination factor is high. Even very basic classes cannot be followed by anyone at the very beginning. Higher impact step aerobics exercises require major amounts of coordination.

A note for first timers
No matter how fit you are, always start with the lowest step. Do not feel intimidated by others who can do it better. In addition, if you find yourself getting confused or lagging behind, forget about the arm movements and concentrate on the footwork for a little while. When step workouts start to feel easy, consider adding a riser.

Variations and precautions
As you progress naturally with step aerobics, try to make the exercise more challenging with a few variations. Increasing the height of the step will make your workout more difficult. In addition, you can incorporate more arm movements into the routine.

Step Aerobics is safer as compared to many other exercises; however, certain precautions need to be followed.

  • A 10-15 minute warm up and cool down with each exercise session to avoid injury
  • Place your whole foot on the step each time, in a heel to toe motion, to help avoid injury to your Achilles tendon, just above your heel

Here are few articles regarding step aerobics you may be interested in —

1) The Benefits of Step Aerobics
2) What is Step Aerobics?
3) Fat burning cardio step workout

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