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Home >> Types Of Exercise  

 Types Of Exercise

Complete physical fitness involves the whole body. A low intensity exercise programme results in increased bone and muscle strength, flexibility, weight control, improvement in cases of osteoporosis, and psychological well-being. An aerobic exercise programme offers these same benefits as well as cardiovascular fitness and blood pressure control.


One of the most common complaints is lack of flexibility. Tasks like bending over to tie your shoelaces or pulling out weeds from your garden becomes more difficult as you age. For flexibility, low-intensity exercise include slow walking, stretching and light callisthenics. A few of these exercises everyday can help alleviate stiffness and keep your major muscle groups loose and movable around the joints. Many injuries can be prevented if you have a better range of motion in your joints.

Stretching is a simple activity that can be done by anyone at any age and at any time during the day. It promotes circulation and improves the overall body coordination. Breathe deeply, relax and have fun. You can start by gently stretching a particular muscle group for about 10 seconds. Do not stretch until it hurts. Back off a little if you feel the tension in your muscles becoming too much. Once you have reached a feeling of tension, hold it for a few seconds as you attempt to relax and hold the stretch. Now completely release the tension in the stretched muscle. Repeat the exercise with the same muscle a couple of times. Move to another muscle group and follow the same procedure. Some simple exercises are as follows:

  • Arm circles (Figure #1)
  • Side stretches (Figure # 2)
  • Torso twists (Figure # 3)
  • Knee lifts (Figure # 4)
  • Knee-to-chest (Figure #5)
  • Elbow thrusts (Figure #5)



Aerobic exercise is an activity that involves a number of muscles in a rhythmic movement. To be defined as aerobic, the exercise or activity must be vigorous enough to produce a heart rate of 65% to 85% of your maximum heart rate for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. Further, an aerobic exercise programme is effective if done thrice or four times a week.

Properly done, aerobic exercise increases the capacity of the lungs to take in oxygen and the capacity of the heart and arteries to circulate it around the body. When the ability of the lungs equals the demand of the muscles to take in oxygen at a steady rate, you have achieved your maximum aerobic conditioning.
It takes a while to build up your conditioning to achieve these results. There are certain medications for heart conditions that may cause your heart rate to stay low so that you will not be able to reach a heart rate of 65% to 85% of your maximum. Nonetheless, you will increase your aerobic capacity.

Many people have the misconception that gardening, bowling, playing golf and tennis are aerobic exercises. While these activities are fun and do provide some physical exercise, they do not provide aerobic or cardiovascular conditioning. Brisk walking, swimming and bicycle riding are the most common aerobic exercises.


Walking is the most natural and necessary physical exercise. In recent years, walking as an exercise has become very popular among the elderly. It is inexpensive, can be done almost anywhere, at any time and it is fun to do so. Since it brings the heart rate into only the lower half of the target heart rate range, you should walk for more than 30 minutes during each session once you have reached a level of conditioning to handle this much exercise.

Your walking schedule should begin with walking for two or three blocks each session. As your conditioning improves, the pace can be gradually increased until you sustain a brisk pace and walking becomes aerobic. Walking patterns need to be varied to maintain interest. Bring a friend and have several routes to prevent monotony. Try to organize walks away from busy thoroughfares wherein you would be breathing emissions from automobiles. Supportive walking shoes are a must as is loose comfortable clothing.


After several months of building yourself up, you may want to increase your exercise by adding some brief periods of slow jogging. This is not meant for everyone, especially if you suffer from any kind of orthopedic problem. You should talk with your doctor or medical professional before considering this move.

Stand with your arms straight out to the side, palms up and elbows straight; make small, slow circles 10 times forwards and then 10 times backwards.

Stand up straight with arms at your side. Then lean to the left without leaning forward at all. Edge your fingers down to your leg as far as you can comfortably go, then do the same on the other side. Repeat each such exercise ten times.

Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Turn the upper part of your body first to the left and then to the right 10 times each, keeping your hips as motionless as possible.

Stand straight with your back against the wall. Bring one leg up as far as is comfortable and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not hold the leg with your hands. Do this 10 times, then repeat with the other leg.

Sit in a chair with your back straight. Hold one knee with both hands and pull it up towards your chest. Pull gently and firmly, holding for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times, then do the same with the other leg.

Stand up straight and then bend forwards from the hips approximately 45 degrees, keeping your back straight. While bending forward, bring your elbows back as if you are trying to make your elbows touch behind you. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Relax and stand straight. Repeat ten times.

Do not jog until you become breathless. Remember, contrary to popular belief, you do not have to experience pain in order to gain. Just find your own rhythm and enjoy yourself. Gradually, you might extend your exercise period to a maximum of 60 minutes, although most people get all the aerobic benefits they need in just 30 minutes.

One reason some people like jogging is because it is the quickest and most efficient way to burn calories and to increase the heart rate. Motorized treadmills, indoor malls, indoor tracks and walking programmes through various fitness centres and hospital agencies provide opportunities for walking and jogging.


Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise. Beside aerobic conditioning, it provides an overall body conditioning better than any other exercise. In swimming flexibility and general muscle tone of the body are greatly enhanced. The buoyancy of water helps prevent injury to joints, making swimming an excellent exercise for those who suffer from arthritis.
Start out slowly by swimming a few laps and gradually increase the number. Eventually, over a few months you will be able to swim continuously for 20 to 30 minutes. If you do not know how to swim, or are not particularly good at it, you may want to try one of the many aerobic water exercise classes that have become immensely popular in the present times. They can help you achieve good results and all you need is a bathing suit.


Do you remember how much fun you had as a kid riding the first new bicycle? If you have positive and playful memories, perhaps biking would be a good choice for you. There are many different types to choose from. The only precaution for road bikers is, of course, to be very careful in traffic. However, there are many less populated areas and roadways where you can enjoy cycling as well as exercising
If you do not feel secure riding on the roads, then may be a stationary bicycle would be better for you. Again, there are many varieties to choose from. Some simulate riding up and down hills, or have stands attached that will hold a book, for example. Riding a stationary bicycle can be boring, but you can do it while watching television, listening to the radio, or humming along to taped music to make the time pass more quickly.


Cross-country skiing is fun and a satisfying form of aerobic exercise. Proper equipment and technique are important to prevent injuries. But a compulsive factor of this exercise is that training can be given wherever there is snow.

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