Aerobics is a fairly new form of exercise. It was Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, an exercise physiologist for the San Antonio Air Force Hospital, Texas, who coined the term ‘aerobics’ to describe the system of exercise that he devised to help prevent coronary artery disease. Dr. Cooper originally formulated aerobic exercises specifically for astronauts, but soon realized that the same set of exercises are useful for the general public as well, especially those suffering from obesity, who are more likely to develop various heart diseases. He put together all of the aspects and methods he founded in his book Aerobics, which hit bookshelves across the United States in 1968. In a matter of months, the book became a bit hit amongst the fitness-minded American public, and its sales quickly crossed the million dollar mark, a feat that non-fiction or non-novel publications rarely achieved at that time.
Expert analysts attributed the huge popularity that Aerobics received in sales, to the growing realization amongst the American public regarding the importance of being fit. The percentage of fit Americans had been in a downslide as the average man and woman had begun to live a sedentary lifestyle, seeking solace in the many comforts that advancements in technology offered in the post WWII years. Many were desperate to shed their idling lifestyles, and the timing of Aerobics to hit bookstands could not have been any better. The new book, explaining a number of scientific exercise programs that use walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming in a constructive way, was not only easy for the public to follow, but was also found to be very effective in boosting overall fitness levels, and there began the revolution – an exercise form that was to take the fitness world by storm.
Aerobic exercises evolved continuously during the next two or three decades. Dance aerobics, water aerobics, step aerobics, all were the products of that period. Even Dr. Cooper himself would not have thought at that time that his brainchild would one day achieve such diversity and unparalleled levels of popularity in the world. Now, it is believed that there are more than one billion aerobic followers around the globe, more than half of whom reside in the North American continent alone.
Aerobics, like many other exercise and diet forms, has not had a smooth transition into the fitness schedules of people without its share of complaints and criticisms. The foremost amongst the negative arguments raised against aerobics was that it is not a complete exercise form, and hence not suitable for athletes and combat services, as Dr. Cooper claimed when he formulated aerobics in its original form. Certain critics complained about how aerobics could injure a person in the long run, and how aerobics is ineffective in reducing obesity. But, when juxtaposed with a sedentary lifestyle, the positives of aerobics far outweigh the negatives and soon fitness experts started to promote aerobic exercise as a major item in their workout schedules. Also, its effectiveness when combined with other workouts drew more people into trying out the new workout. Unable to raise any creative debate on the topic further, the last bits of criticism on aerobics soon died down, never to stick its neck out again.
These days, however, in most fitness centers across the country, one may not be able to find the original aerobics that Dr. Cooper invented. Instead, it is the more evolved versions of aerobics, the ones mentioned already along with the much popular Jazzercise, a combination of aerobics and Jazz music, Nia Technique, and Cardio-Kickboxing, that mostly dominates the daily schedules of fitness clubs. While at the gym, perusing the cardio classes that are offered, if you find something different, that you’ve never heard of before, it is most likely the invention of some forward thinking fitness instructor, based upon the original practices of aerobic exercise.
If you want to know more about aerobic exercise and its sub-divisions, search the web. You can find plenty of resources on aerobics and its variants, from proven experts in the trade.