Exercise can be categorized under three major types, viz. flexibility (stretching), aerobic (cardiovascular), and anaerobic exercise (weight training). Here is a brief about the different exercise types, and how they are performed.
It is an obvious fact that regular physical exercise, along with a balanced diet are the key factors to control weight and stay healthy. Exercise helps stimulate the immune system and protect from certain chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart problems. While a sedentary lifestyle without exercise is an invitation to several diseases and disorders. Any form of obesity is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in terms of consuming fatty foods and leading an inactive life. Nowadays, a major concern is childhood obesity, of which the most effective remedy is performing regular physical activities.
People exercise for many positive reasons, maybe for building muscles, flexibility of the joints, strengthening the cardiovascular system, or simply as a leisure activity. Depending upon the personal goals, various exercise forms are included in the workout regimen. Whatever may be the reason, doing physical activities is always good for health, if it is performed under safe conditions. It is recommended that everyone should exercise for at least 30 minutes daily for good health. Following are the different types of exercise, based on their effects on the human body system.
Flexibility exercise is performed to enhance the movements of muscles and joints. Stretching and bending are the common ways of flexibility training. This exercise type benefits us in preventing muscle stiffness, joint pain (to some extent), while improving the blood circulation, posture, and breathing capacity. Along with a warm-up session, stretching exercises (e.g., tai chi and yoga) should be performed before and after the exercise schedule. This will surely help in reducing muscle soreness and injuries, and also, in the proper recovery of the muscles after the exercise.
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardiovascular exercise, strengthens the muscles and promotes the cardiovascular endurance (by targeting a specific heart rate). As the name suggests, aerobic exercise aims at improving the oxygen intake by the body cells. It involves movement of the muscle groups from a moderate to intense level exercise, for an extended period (at least 20 minutes). There are many aerobic exercise types such as running, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, and playing sports. It is the most effective form of exercise for losing weight. In an aerobic exercise session, a moderate intensity exercise should be preceded by a warm-up period and end by a cooling down period.
Anaerobic exercise or weight-lifting exercise is performed mostly to build muscles and enhance their size, strength, and endurance. Hence, in anaerobic exercise and strength training, muscular activities like functional training, weight training, and sprinting are performed, followed by a cooling session. Some of the common activities of anaerobic exercise are sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups, squats, and rowing. Though, anaerobic exercise is performed for a lesser duration, it can be a good supplement to aerobic workouts. It benefits a dieter in losing weight by enhancing the muscle tissue mass.
There is no specific time and place for exercise, and it is never too late to start exercising. In case, you feel reluctant to exercise outdoors and/or in gyms, you can always purchase specific exercise equipment after consulting a fitness expert and do the workout at home. Since each of the exercise type targets on improving specific body functions and parts, it is important to include all of them to perform a complete body workout. Studies have found that engaging in physical activities not only improves physical health, but also helps in treating depression and mental illnesses.
However, it is to be noted that too much exercise, without a proper diet may be harmful to health. In such a case, the body cells start utilizing proteins as their energy source. There are also increased chances of circulatory problems like stroke. It is advisable that pregnant women and people who have medical complications should consult and seek advice from their concerned physician, before following a particular exercise program. This will help in recognizing and preventing any possible health risks associated with exercising.