What are the Benefits of Step Aerobics?

K. Testa

Step aerobics is a cardio workout that evolved from basic aerobics instruction in the 1980s. The program has many benefits, since the stepping platform can create several options for diversifying one’s aerobic routine. One of the common benefits includes an increase in intensity, resulting in a more effective workout. Another benefit is these aerobics routines are easy to customize and learn, making them appropriate for all fitness levels. They can improve muscle tone and assist with balance. Finally, many people find it to be a convenient and inexpensive form of exercising, whether at home or in a class.

Step aerobics are easy to learn and provide an inexpensive form of exercising.
Step aerobics are easy to learn and provide an inexpensive form of exercising.

One of the most often-cited benefits of step aerobics is an increase in the intensity of the cardiovascular workout, while also remaining low-impact. Higher intensity workouts can increase metabolism and help someone burn more calories, potentially resulting in greater weight loss. They can also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, for example, by lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol, while raising HDL, or good cholesterol. In addition, high-intensity routines can still be low-impact, which can help to avoid putting undue stress on joints and muscles.

Step aerobics may help individuals achieve weight loss.
Step aerobics may help individuals achieve weight loss.

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Step aerobics routines can also add variety to everyday workouts by creating choreographed moves using the stepping platform, yet they do not usually require advanced skills. A class can be as simple, or as complex, as the instructor and students want it to be. Participants can adjust the height of their steps with risers. While this type of aerobic exercise generally leads to overall improved muscle tone, one can also use hand weights for more focused upper body strengthening. A class can help participants increase their balance and coordination. Many classes are specifically designed to help seniors achieve these skills, potentially helping to prevent injuries.

Another benefit of step aerobics is that it is convenient and economical. Prior to the creation of the official stepping platform, people could performed a step workout using a sturdy box or other household item as their step. The manufactured step is relatively inexpensive to purchase, and the workouts can be done either in a class or at home. People can choose to work out with a personal trainer, join a group class, or use workout videos on their own.

To maximize the benefits of step aerobics, one should usually keep certain safety concerns in mind. Some common tips from professionals include listening carefully to the instructor, following general safety guidelines, and taking breaks if necessary. Health experts also usually suggest checking with one’s doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Step aerobics provide a cardiovsacular workout.
Step aerobics provide a cardiovsacular workout.

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Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- I think that step aerobics may be the type of exercises you need to help ease your pain. I think you should start out slowly though, just in case doing them aggravates your issues. You could even start by using some steps in your home before you purchase aerobic step equipment. This is an easy way to get an idea how your knees will react to repeated step taking motions.


@ocelot60- I have often included step aerobics in my exercise routine, and have found them to be beneficial without being too rigorous. I like to run, but I have had several ankle sprains that required me to do less strenuous exercise activities while I recovered. I have always turned to step aerobics during these times and have been very satisfied with the results.

From experience, I can tell you that this type of exercise has never bothered me when I have had leg issues. The good thing about it is that you can adjust the size of the steps and the number of steps you take to fit your needs and ability. Like all exercises, however, you should check with your doctor before you start doing step aerobics to make sure that they won't cause you any further problems or pain.


I have heard that step aerobics are good for keeping your legs active even if you have various types of leg and knee pain. I'm wondering if this type of exercise program would be good for me, because I have some arthritis pain in my knees.

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