Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lets do the steppin'

Have you heard of step aerobics?

Step aerobics is an aerobics exercise in which a step or stepping device is used. A person is required to go up and down on the steps in rhythm with the music.

There are different types of step exercises such as:

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 boards.

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 twelve 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.

Benefits of step aerobics :

1) provides great cardio workout comparable to running

2) generally its low impact but by increasing the height of the step board it will also increase the level of intensity.

3) it helps to lower cholesterol levels, and increased burning of calories.

4) helps to lower the risk of heart disease.

5) Less stress on the joints compared to some other aerobics activities

6) Uses very little space and easy to do, step aerobics is ideal for the more confined space of the home.

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.

Precautions to to be taken into considerations to avoid injuries.

1) do not step too hard when going on and coming off the board as this will cause injury

2) strictly follow instructions from a well trained instructor

3) head should be up and the shoulders down

4) the complete foot should touch the floor at least one foot away from the board

5) if the waist leans, there is stress on the lower spine, butts should be taut and abs tugged in

6) the knee should never be lifted more than 90 degrees maximum being 60 degrees

7) the foot should be placed on the center of the step board with the heel down, to avoid tendon injury

8) warming up and cooling down is extremely important to eliminate the possibility of injury

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