Step exercises are high-intensity cardio workouts that can be easily combined with your choice of weights. They are great for both cardio and strength training and can help you lose weight, strengthen bone mass, and improve overall health.
9 benefits of step exercise
- Weight loss: Step exercises are effective for weight loss because it combines both aerobics and weights. How many calories you can burn depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise, but on average, medium-intensity step exercises can burn about 300-400 calories per hour.
- Heart health: Aerobic exercises are good for the heart, lungs, and the rest of the cardiovascular system because they promote better heart contractility and pumping of blood throughout the body. Better pumping promotes better oxygenation throughout the body, keeping cardiovascular diseases at bay.
- Musculoskeletal health: Musculoskeletal health means having good bone density and muscle mass. Because step exercises are performed with weights, they help maintain good bone density and muscle mass, reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.
- Improved mental health: Exercising on a regular basis secretes chemicals such as endorphins that are a type of happy hormone that help with stress and anxiety management. Regular exercise also helps with better oxygenation of the brain.
- Improved lower body strength: Step exercises primarily involve working the legs and abdomen. Muscles of the calf, thigh, and ankle bear most of your body weight and thus get toned and muscular with this exercise, improving stability and balance.
- Improved metabolic rate: Metabolic rate refers to your capacity for burning calories even during resting. When you exercise regularly, your body releases chemicals that help with fat burning.
- Low impact exercise: People with slight knee discomfort can comfortably perform these exercises by taking it slow and always keeping one leg on the ground for better balance and stability. However, exercises involving jumps should be avoided. Basic step aerobic exercises are not bad for the knees, but poor form can cause injury. Therefore, you need to make sure your form is correct.
- Minimal equipment and space needed: You don’t need a gym membership or a large area to perform step exercises. Just a strong and stable step along with few weights or resistance bands will suffice.
- Versatile: Step exercises are very versatile. You can start with a step as low as 3-4 inches without weights, and gradually increase the height of the steps and the heaviness of the weights. Range of movement and intensity can vary according to your abilities.
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