Learn about the four different types of exercise

///Learn about the four different types of exercise
There are four types of exercise to include in your weekly routine.

There are four types of exercise to include in your weekly routine.

Did you know that there are actually four types of exercise, all of which serve varied purposes? Everyone knows that routine exercise is very important for healthy adults for varied functions, including bone and muscle strength, weight-loss or weight maintenance, heart health and even cognitive health. But there are four different types of exercise: Aerobic (or endurance), strength, flexibility and balance.

The CDC recommends that, for healthy aging, adults 65 years or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their activity, should engage in one of three variations on exercise per week:

  1. Two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and at least two days of muscle-strengthening exercises
  2. One hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise with muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week
  3. An equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic exercise with the inclusion of two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities

It's important to note that you can spread your activity into intervals as short as 10 minutes. So if you have a very busy schedule, even doing three, 10-minute aerobic exercises per day, five days per week, will be sufficient. To get you started, here are the different types of exercise, how they benefit the body and what kind of activities they entail:

Aerobic (Endurance) Exercise
Aerobic exercises increase your breathing and heart rate and are the main component of overall fitness programs. They keep the circulatory system and lungs healthy, can stave off diabetes and heart disease and help you build up endurance. Some common aerobic activities include:

  • A brisk walk
  • Jogging
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Playing tennis
  • Dancing
  • Biking
  • Doing yard work like raking, digging and gardening
  • Swimming laps

Strength exercises
These are important for keeping your bones and muscles strong and helping older adults maintain their independence. Strength training is beneficial in reducing falls and helping you do everyday activities that require lifting, such as carrying groceries. Some examples of strength training include:

  • Lifting free weights
  • Using resistance machines at the gym
  • Using resistance bands to leverage your own body weight in building strength

Flexibility
Though not part of the CDC's official recommendations for maintaining good physical health, flexibility exercises can keep your body limber and help you maintain a wide range of motion. This is important because range of motion is often limited by things like arthritis. Here are some ways to improve your flexibility:

  • Stretching various parts of the body
  • Doing yoga

Balance exercises
Practicing and improving balance is important for older adults because it can strengthen the body's core and help prevent falls. Here are some good balance exercises:

  • Heel-to-toe walking
  • Standing on one foot
  • Practicing tai chi poses
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2013-10-17T10:33:22+00:00October 17th, 2013|Health and Wellness Blog Posts|