Doing one type can also improve your ability to do others, and variety helps reduce boredom and the risk of injury. Exercise is essential for good health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activities. People do what they like, or what seems most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored, says Rachel Wilson, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
In reality, we should all do aerobic exercises, stretching, strengthening and balancing. Below, we list what you need to know about each type of exercise and give you examples to try, with a doctor's approval. Climbing stairs, jumping rope and hiking, for example, tests your heart and sweats, but they also strengthen your lower body muscles, including your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, which help you maintain your balance. Meanwhile, traditional force movements, using gym equipment or simply your own body weight, are also considered weight-bearing exercises.
Not all great strength exercises involve lifting weights. Non-weight-bearing exercises generally involve sitting, lying down, or using strength machines. Agility is the ability to move quickly and easily, but this type of physical training isn't just for athletes. So what is fitness really? What does it mean to be fit? How can we find a definition and value that suits us, encourages us to get involved and plays the perfect role in our lifestyle? 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.
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. Personal trainers understand this, as do Crossfit gyms that take a mixed approach to developing all types of fitness. 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. 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. 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. 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. Dynamic balance work is a type of physical training that tests your ability to stand on one or two legs while moving other parts of the body, according to the ACE.