A step aerobic class is motivating and fun.
A step is not always a step when it comes to your workouts. Step aerobics and exercising on a stair stepper are two very different ways to do a cardiovascular workout. One uses a small piece of portable equipment. The other is a stationary exercise machine that is not easy to transport.
Step On It
Step aerobics is performed on an elevated platform. The step does not measure higher than 12 inches and usually has non-slip padding on the bottom. You step up and down onto the platform usually to uptempo music. You can do the workout on your own or with others in a group exercise environment. In contrast, a stair stepper machine is a large piece of exercise equipment. It has a computer display, handlebars, moveable foot pedals and a secure base. Your feet move the pedals up and down to simulate stair climbing.
Make An Impact
Step aerobics is a low-impact workout. Unless the routine contains a lot of jumps, which increases the impact, you always keep one foot in contact with the floor or the step. It is important to use good form and step quietly onto the step and place your entire foot on the platform. Exercising on a stepper machine is a no- to low-impact workout. Your feet do not raise off the pedals after you begin the exercise, which reduces the amount of impact. You adjust the resistance level to make it more difficult to push down on the pedals, but the exercise remains very low impact.
One way to choose between two different workouts is to measure the amount of calories burned. During a 45-minute step aerobic session, a 150-pound person burns approximately 450 calories. The same person burns approximately 405 calories exercising on a stair stepper for 45 minutes. Other factors increase the amount of calorie-burning such as the height of the aerobic step, the pace of the stair stepper workout and your body weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn.
If you enjoy dancing and consider yourself coordinated, a step aerobic workout is for you. You can take a class and perform the choreography given by the instructor, watch a video and exercise at home, or develop your own step patterns to keep your workouts fresh and challenging. If you are not coordinated, a workout on a stair machine is for you. You do not have to learn different movements or any choreography. You simply raise and lower your feet as you push down against the resistance of the foot pedals.