Step aerobics is a simple and fun way of staying fit and getting the heart pumping. In this post, we look at some of the incredible benefits of doing step aerobics on a regular basis.
Even if you have no experience, you can easily pick up step aerobics and start an effective exercise plan in no time. You don’t need to spend much money on equipment, and one of the biggest benefits of step aerobics is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home, so it doesn’t require a gym membership.
Apart from some decent workout gear, all you need to get your hands on is a step aerobics platform. If you want to increase the intensity of your workout, you can also invest in step aerobics risers, although you will find that the best exercise platform usually comes with two or four for this very purpose.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of doing step aerobics at home:
1 – Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Step Aerobics
Studies have shown that one hour of step aerobics offers the same cardiovascular benefits to the body as running flat out for 7 miles.
A step aerobics workout is a great way to exercise the heart, the lungs, and the rest of the cardiovascular system. The heart is a muscle like any other, and through increased exercise, you can increase its strength and endurance. This, in turn, means the heart is better equipped to pump blood around the body.
A stronger heart means that you are less likely to suffer heart and artery diseases. It also means that you can improve your workout results because more blood will be pumped to the muscles so they will be getting more oxygen.
2 – Musculoskeletal Health Benefits
Musculoskeletal health is concerned with the strength and density of the bones.
Although step aerobics workouts are considered to be a low impact form of exercise, they are still weight bearing. You carry the weight of your body while performing exercises on a step aerobics platform.
Weight bearing exercises force bones to increase their mass and produce more bone cells. Healthier bones are stronger. They enable you to balance better, and they enable you to avoid degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
3 – Step Aerobics and Weight Loss
The benefits of step aerobics for weight loss are huge.
Because of its combination of cardiovascular and weight-bearing exercise, step aerobics is a super effective way of burning off excess fat.
It also enables you to start off slowly and build intensity as you reach your weight loss goals.
Using a step aerobics platform with risers allows you to gradually up the intensity of your workouts for sustained weight loss.
How Many Calories Does Step Aerobics Burn?
Research has shown that step aerobics is highly effective for weight loss workouts and can burn 600 calories in one hour.
The exact number of calories you burn will depend on the intensity of the steps you perform and the amount of time you dedicate to a workout. However, even a relatively simple routine can burn 300 or 400 calories.
Increase the intensity of the workout to burn more calories. You can do this by stepping faster and by increasing the height of the platform using risers for step aerobics.
4 – Improve Mental Health
Good exercise releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that transmit electrical signals to the brain.
Endorphins can help to fight pain in the body, and they also help fight stress and relieve anxiety. By losing weight and toning the body, you will also feel better about the way you look, which increases self-confidence.
5 – Enhance Leg Strength
During a step aerobics routine, you work the lower muscles of your body.
The legs, ankles, and muscles in the feet will take most of the strain of the exercise and carry your body weight. Also, the unilateral movement of stepping up onto the aerobics platform means that you exercise each leg individually.
Not only does this work the legs generally, but it improves the stability of each leg. As you gain stability, you put the muscles through greater exercise and build muscle more efficiently.
You work every muscle in the legs using step aerobics, so it is a beneficial workout for the lower body. It’s a popular workout routine for athletes that rely on having strong leg muscles, such as cyclists and runners.
What Muscles Does Step Aerobics Work?
Step aerobics primarily works the muscles in the legs, including those in the ankles and lower leg.
However, it also works your core muscles. If you want to intensify the upper body workout, add arm movements to your step routine.
Good step aerobics routines do incorporate arm movements because this not only helps increase the number of calories you burn but strengthens more muscles.
6 – Improve Your Metabolic Rate
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which proteins in your body break down fat molecules. One of the biggest benefits of doing step aerobics regularly is that your metabolic rate will increase.
Your metabolism breaks down the calories in food that you eat, but it also breaks down fat already stored in the body. The more you exercise, the more fat-busting proteins your body generates, and the better your fat loss efforts are.
As you increase the amount of exercise you do, you also increase the amount of Human Growth Hormones (HGH) that your body creates. This is especially important later in life, when you naturally produce less HGH.
Doing more exercise will improve your metabolic rate, helping you limit your calorific intake and burn excess fat from your body.
7 – Low Impact Exercise
A low impact exercise is one that requires you to keep one foot on the ground at all times. This lowers the stress placed on the body when compared to performing high impact exercise.
High impact exercise is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you have healthy joints already. However, if you have weak joints or suffer from joint pain, you should stick to low impact exercise routines.
Despite being high intensity, step aerobics is still a low impact form of exercise, so is much kinder to your joints than, say, running.
Is Step Aerobics Bad For Knees?
Step aerobics, when done properly, is a low impact exercise. One foot remains on the floor or aerobics step at all times.
However, poor form, adding exercises like star jumps and hops, and carrying extra weights in the hand can alter the fundamentals of the program.
Basic step aerobics is not bad for the knees, but poor form can be harmful, so you need to ensure that your step aerobics movements are correct in order to avoid injuries.
8 – Versatile Exercise
One of the benefits of step aerobics is that it is extremely versatile.
With step aerobics risers, the platform can be set as low as 4” off the ground, or you can even start off with no elevated step at all. This makes it suitable for people of any fitness level and almost any physical condition.
As you progress, and as you get fitter, you can increase the intensity of the exercise by increasing step elevation. Most step aerobic platforms are 4” in height but do include risers. These risers enable you to increase the height to 6” or 8”, and some advanced steps can be raised as high as 10” off the ground.
It is also possible to add extra movement to a step program. Add arm movements to exercise the upper body as well as the lower body extremities. Use resistance bands or hand weights to increase the burden placed on your muscles.
Of course, you can always increase the tempo of your steps to intensify the workout and get your heart pumping faster. You can even incorporate step into a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout.
9 – Very Little Equipment Needed
Some people love the community spirit and encouragement that comes from step classes, but going to the local gym or health centre isn’t always practical. Attending a step class every week can also get costly.
One of the great benefits of doing step aerobics at home is that you don’t need a multi gym or other expensive equipment. Even the most expensive aerobics stepper is available for $100 or less, including additional risers.
That’s all you really need. As mentioned, it’s always useful to have some resistance bands handy if you want to add intensity to certain exercises. They cost next to nothing and can be used to add resistance to any movement.
Where Can I Buy A Step For Step Aerobics?
Aerobics steps are inexpensive and portable. The best aerobics steps are slip-proof, durable, and come with risers so that you can increase the intensity of your cardio workout.
A great aerobic stepper we can recommend is The Step Original Aerobic Platform, which you can buy on Amazon for a reasonable price.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to the benefits of step aerobics. Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.