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Step Ups

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Step-up exercise is one easy solution to tone up the body and lose weight effectively, without the sit-ups and pushups.

Step Up Exercise Tip: Always remember to make complete contact between the entire sole of the foot and the platform. Never stay on your toes, while your leg is up on the step box.

Step up exercise is a great way to boost your heart beat and shed those extra pounds. As your body paces up and down, the heart pumps more blood into the body that leads to the usage of excess body fat. As the fat gets consumed, you lose weight.

Step Ups

Step-Ups More Vigorous

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 cholesterol levels?

According to Robyn Stuhr, M.A., an exercise physiologist at the Women's Sports Medicine Center, Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, step aerobics can provide a challenging workout and is a great choice for those who enjoy exercising to music in a group.

"Step-Ups are more vigorous than aerobic dance, and the vigorousness and frequency of exercise determines a higher or better change in HDLs," says Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. "There are many good reasons to do exercise," Fletcher says. "Regularity and 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."

"Aerobic exercise contributes to health in many more ways than increasing HDL cholesterol," Stuhr adds. "Aerobic exercise has a positive effect on stamina, blood pressure, weight, sleep patterns, energy levels, lipid profiles, and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. We should all get moving!"

Stuhr advises that if a person experiences knee pain while using a step bench, he or she should use a lower step height, see a sports medicine doctor, or consider another form of aerobic exercise such as cycling, elliptical training, or walking.

Alternative: Stairclimber

Stair Climbers

Stairmasters and other stairclimbing machines provide an aerobic conditioning workout and are also excellent calorie burners, making them ideal for weight loss. Leaning on the handlebars excessively lowers your heart rate and reduces that fat burning potential of the exercise. Stairclimbers effectively target the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

Speed control buttons allow you to increase and decrease the intensity at any time during your workout. With over a dozen levels of difficulty, anyone from beginner to expert can use a stairclimber. There are several different workout programs, from a basic manual program to challenging hill and interval courses. The user friendly console provides feedback and motivates you by displaying workout statistics including time, calories burned, miles traveled, floors climbed, step rate, relative intensity (METs) and power output (watts).

In addition, many stairclimbers provide Polar Heart Rate monitor compatibility. Stairclimbing is a very safe non-impact workout, although it may aggravate knee pain in those with pre-existing problems. The elliptical machine would be a better choice if you are nursing a knee injury.


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