Step Aerobics: Effective in Modifying (Cholesterol) Profiles
You may have known that step aerobics can burn
calories and is a good
exercise for the heart, but did you know that research specifically has found
step aerobics can step up your good
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
found step aerobic exercise significantly raised the HDL- cholesterol levels of
the study participants. This small, eight-week study followed 45 sedentary
female Turkish college students. Fifteen of the women participated in step
aerobic exercise and another 15 did traditional aerobic dance. Each 45-minute
session was done for three days a week. The remaining 15 women in the study
continued to be sedentary. At the study's conclusion, the investigators from
Baskent University in Ankara found that both groups of active women showed a
significant reduction in their overall cholesterol levels compared to the
frequency of exercise tends to bring HDL levels up more
dependably. The more vigorous the exercise is, the better, from the standpoint
of overall health benefits. It can provide a challenging workout and is a great
choice for those who enjoy exercising to music in a group. Step aerobic, also
helps develop the hamstrings, with complimentary development of the gluteals
(the "buttock" muscles) and the quadriceps.
Bench step up, is like climbing hills in the comfort of
your own home or gym. You are basically lifting your body repeatedly against
the force of gravity and powering your hamstrings, quads, and gluteals in
How to Perform:
Warm up for 10 minutes by performing light jogging,
range-of-motion activities for the trunk, low back, hips, quadriceps,
hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendons.
Begin from a standing position on top of a step bench, with your body
weight on your left foot and your weight shifted toward the left heel. The
right foot should be free and held slightly behind the body.
Lower the body in a controlled manner until the toes of the right
foot touch the ground, but maintain all of your weight on the left foot.
Return to the starting position by driving downward with the left heel and
straightening the left leg, and then switch over to the right leg.
It is recommended that you start out with a 15-20-minute workout every
other day. As your muscles and heart become used to the workout, you can
increase the duration to 60 minutes daily.
After the aerobic exercise session,
you should cool-down by doing low intensity movement or by walking for 5-10
minutes and then stretching the same muscles that were stretched before.
If you experiences
knee pain while using a step bench, use a lower step
height, or see a sports medicine doctor, or consider another form of aerobic
exercise such as cycling, elliptical training, or walking.
When stepping up, you should lean at the ankle, not at the waist to avoid
stress on the lower spine. Maintain absolutely upright posture with the trunk
throughout the entire movement
The platform should be no higher than 4" when beginning the program. As
you advance and your body becomes better conditioned, you can increase the
step height to 10". Keep in mind that no step height should force your knee
above a 90-degree angle in order to avoid injury to the knee.
Step aerobics moves range from the very simple to the extremely advanced. If you are new to aerobics, these moves can be intimidating to the point of scaring you away from even trying.
The routines are designed around 32-beat segments that are divided into four-, eight- or 16-count moves. For example, a 32-beat segment can include eight counts right basic, eight counts right V-steps, eight counts turn step and eight counts knee repeater.
Remember to drink plenty of water. It is so important to stay hydrated. You will notice an increase in your concentration and your overall feel of your body as you work out.
Women who have abnormal menstrual periods have minimal increases in HDL, so watch out.
Too much resistance training may actually lower HDL cholesterol if not accompanied by some aerobic training.
Video on Step Aerobics
Dated 12 September 2013