Exercise is Key to Good Health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activity. People do what they like, or what seems most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored, says Rachel Wilson, physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. In reality, we should all do aerobic exercises, stretching, strengthening and balance.
Below we list what you need to know about each type of exercise and give you examples to try, with a doctor's approval. The four main types of exercise are aerobic, stretching, strength and balance. Covering each of these factors is important not only for optimal physical condition, but also for optimal aging. Correct training can prevent falls and injuries as we age.
Injuries can also happen to the best and healthiest of us during weekend sports. So don't wait too long to start a fully developed training program. Endurance activities are often referred to as aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. These include exercises that increase heart rate and breathing.
Strength training exercises are also called resistance training exercises. These help strengthen muscles. These exercises help you feel confident doing simple activities, such as gardening and shopping. Strength training includes lifting weights (including body weight) and wearing a resistance band.
Get help from a physical therapist who can design a strength training program or the right weights for you. As a general rule, you should not exercise the same muscle group for 2 days in a row. Use only 1 or 2 pounds (like a water bottle) at first and keep adding weights gradually, as long as you can support them. You can use your own weight to improve lower leg muscle strength through exercises, such as lunges and squats.
Resistance bands are elastic bands that, if stretched and released slowly in a controlled manner, can help improve muscle strength. You can start with the lightest ones first, and then slowly move on to the heavier ones. The American Heart Association recommends moderate to high intensity muscle strengthening activities (such as resistance or weights) at least 2 days a week. Flexibility exercises are those that involve stretching your muscles.
These exercises facilitate joint movement in all possible directions (improved range of motion). Muscles that become stiff due to aging can cause muscle cramps. Flexibility exercises make them longer and more flexible. Activities such as bending over to tie your shoes become easier.
Flexibility exercises are especially recommended while recovering from fractures, ligament injuries, and muscle injuries. Flexibility exercise can be performed for all types of muscles, such as calf muscles and back muscles. Here's How You Can Improve Calf Muscle Flexibility by Exercising Calf Stretching. Remember to do warm-up and cool-down exercises before resistance and strengthening exercises.
Make sure you drink plenty of water between exercises, especially those that make you sweat. Including protein-rich foods in your diet is just as important as exercising. For example, strength training strengthens muscles, which in turn helps support and protect joints and this could help prevent injury during aerobic exercise. Meanwhile, balance exercises use muscle strength in a coordinated manner to stabilize movements and can reduce the risk of injuries, such as ankle sprains, Laskowski said.
Ideally, you include all four types of exercise in your workouts. But that doesn't mean you have to do four separate workouts, Drew said. You can combine some exercises, such as strength and balance training. For example, you can do bicep curls while standing on one leg.
Some workouts, such as yoga, incorporate strength, flexibility and balance exercises. Flexibility is more than just being able to touch your toes, it's about overall musculoskeletal health. While some people are born with natural flexibility, that doesn't mean that those who aren't are doomed to have it out of reach. Exercises that facilitate flexibility and mobility, such as stretching, are often neglected or considered “not suitable” exercises, as the effort seems minimal at first glance.
Ignoring this type of training from your usual routine is actually doing you a disservice, as compromised mobility can limit your range of motion and impair your fitness goals or, in the worst case, can lead to injury in the future. Here are some flexibility training styles that complement different types of workouts, and include strength elements within them. Static stretching is isometric (develops muscle tension without muscle contraction), maintains a challenging position for at least 20-30 seconds. Dynamic stretching is a stretch that is performed by repeatedly moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion.
Passive stretching uses “outside assistance” to help you stretch. It's a technique where you relax in a stretch while an external force (someone or something) intensifies the stretch even more. Active stretching applies movement, so it relaxes the muscle you are trying to stretch and relying on the opposite muscle to start stretching. Ballistic stretch is uncontrolled, erratic and uneven.
It can be a form of passive stretching or a dynamic stretch in a rapid, rebound motion, forcing the limb into an extended range of motion. Today, yoga has as many practice styles as there are ranges of sportswear brands. Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Kundalini and Yin are some of the best known. What all of these practices have in common is the integration of the body and breathing through stretching, isometric exercises of body weight and meditation in motion.
Regular practice will help mobilize joints, stretch ligaments and strengthen muscles, in short, keep you flexible. Developed by Joseph Pilates, this exercise method incorporates controlled movements with an emphasis on alignment, breathing and core construction, which Pilates instructors refer to as the “Powerhouse”. Over time, Pilates will not only increase flexibility, but it will also help improve coordination, balance, and overall stability. If you're looking to release tight, aching muscles after an incredible workout, then you might want to take a look at foam rollers.
This form of mobility work, along with other devices such as lacrosse balls for trigger points, are an indispensable part of any regular training regimen. The foam roller offers deep tissue release and can be done before training to warm up muscles or after training to relieve tension. Each article discusses the benefits of the particular type of exercise, as well as how much you need to do and how to avoid injury during the activity. Managing your own fitness isn't about choosing the type of fitness that works best for you (although you'll find yourself more suitable for some types than others), but rather it's more about taking a holistic approach that balances each of these types equally.
Whatever your motivation for exercising, the best way to ensure complete fitness and health is to try to incorporate a combination of these different types. Muscle strength is a type of physical condition directly related to muscle density and endurance, allowing athletes to perform more repetitions while lifting heavier weights. As you can see from this, it takes a lot more to build and maintain fitness than meets the eye, and making the most of your efforts (or those you're helping) requires a specialized understanding of how various types of fitness affect the body. Try to supplement your favorite workout with one or two days a week of another type that benefits you.
Now that you have information about the importance of including different types of workouts in your routine and what types exist, you may want to know how this will affect your overall health and fitness. Each type of exercise is important in its own way, and doing all four types is the way to maximize your fitness and prevent injury, experts say. Cardiovascular fitness is often considered the most important type of fitness because of the myriad of health benefits it offers. In addition, each type of physical exercise brings with it a series of benefits that will improve your performance in others.
So let's take a closer look at these different types of fitness, what needs to be done to achieve and maintain them, as well as how they benefit the body in ways that distinguish themselves from each other. The main types of exercise include those that focus on aerobic capacity (cardiovascular fitness), strength, flexibility and balance. It's common for people to focus on one type of exercise or activity, but including all four types of exercise in your training will give you more benefits. But even those who seem incredibly fit may not know that there are four essential types of exercise.
Personal trainers understand this, as do Crossfit gyms, which take a mixed approach to developing all types of fitness. To get the most important information about these types of exercises, Live Science spoke to experts and reviewed the latest scientific research. . .