Types of Exercise

Physical exercise is activity performed in order to develop or maintain physical fitness for a particular activity or for general health.  

Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:

  • Stretching or flexibility exercises improve the range of motion of muscles and joints.
    eg: yoga, pilates
  • Cardio or aerobic exercises increase cardiovascular endurance.
    eg: walking, dancing, running, cycling, swimming, rowing
  • Resistance or anaerobic exercises  increase muscle strength.
    eg: weight lifting, bodybuilding

Exercise can be an important part of physical therapy, weight loss or sports performance, and regular exercise has been shown to help high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression, among others. (Note: you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise regime, especially if you have a medical condition, chronic illness or disability).

An ideal exercise / training regime would be tailored to the individual and their goals, but would include all three types of exercise.  If you are overweight, you should: 

  • check with your doctor before starting an exercise regime
  • emphasise resistance exercise (eg weight lifting).  This will improve the ability of your muscles to burn energy / fat (ie it will increase your metabolism). Note that weight lifting will not bulk up muscles without the assistance of male hormones or steroids, so weight lifting will NOT bulk up female muscles, although it will make them firmer.
  • include relatively brief sessions of stretching and cardio
  • confine your cardio to low impact activities, (eg walking, swimming, cycling) to avoid risk of damage to your joints and tendons


For more information on cycling and bicycles, check out www.treadly.com.  Treadly = pushbike = two-wheeler = bicycle.


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