Improving your health can feel like a complex journey, especially when you are first getting started. This can be particularly true when it comes to exercise and the 4 types of fitness that may benefit you the most. The good news is that there are ways to focus your exercise routines on what works.
The four types of exercise that research has shown to be the most beneficial are endurance, strength, flexibility, and balance (1). By learning about the benefits of these different types of exercise, you can build a routine that works for you. Let’s dig deeper.
Endurance exercise, which is often also referred to as aerobic exercise, can be great not only for improving overall health but also helping to give you an energy boost (2). Endurance exercises may even increase heart and breath rates, as well as boost the health of your circulatory system, and your heart and lungs. Oftentimes, athletes may use endurance workouts to maintain an ideal athlete resting heart rate so that they can improve their overall performance.
If you want to boost your endurance, then you need to make sure that you fit in some endurance exercises at home in your regular workout routines. Some great aerobic exercise examples include dancing, swimming, power walking, and biking. The more that you do these kinds of exercises, the more that you will increase your stamina and boost your overall endurance (2).
To make sure that you avoid injuries while doing different exercises, you need to take the time to read and understand safe exercise guidelines. In general, it is best to take your time when you are just learning something new and gradually build up your intensity and frequency as you improve (4).
Along with that, you also need to make sure that you are giving yourself time to warm up before your workout. This helps to increase your blood flow rates and loosen up your tendons, ligaments, and muscles before you put them to work (4).
After you finish working out, make sure to perform some cooldown exercises as it allows your body temperature and heart rate to resume back to its normal rate. Ideally, stretch as you cool down because it helps to reduce lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which can lead to stiffness and muscle cramps (5).
Strength training is another important component of maintaining your physical health. Not only can it help you to build your lean muscle mass, but it can also help with mobility and flexibility as well (6, 7). The more that you work to strengthen your body through your workouts, the more benefits you will see and boost your overall physical ability.
Other benefits include (7):
- Protect joints
- Manage weight
- Increase bone density
- Improve sleep
- Strengthen stamina
- Prevent and/or control chronic conditions
Strength Training Exercises
While some may feel intimidated by doing strength training exercises at home, the reality is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. Some strength exercise examples to consider are squats, push-ups, and lunges. Plus, they can be done at home with or without exercise equipment.
As with endurance exercises, it is important to make sure that you take new exercises slow and give yourself time to warm up before and cool down after performing them. It’s also a good idea to focus more on your workout form than just on the weight of the exercise. Without proper form, you can succumb to injury and even slow gains (7).
Flexibility is key when you want to not only increase your range of motion but feel more comfortable with new and different types of movement. Flexibility is important because it can lead to things like better posture and help reduce the occurrence of injuries as well.
One of the primary ways to do flexibility training is to stretch. Stretching may seem simple and can be done without much effort, but it can have plenty of benefits when done correctly, including (8, 9):
- Preventing injury
- Preparing muscles for exercise
- Improving performance
- Increasing blood flow
- Helping muscles to perform full range of motion
Examples of Flexibility Exercises
When doing exercises to increase flexibility, it can be important to make sure that you are doing a range of exercises that will help you maximize the benefits of flexibility. Some examples of stretches include (8):
- Lotus stretch
- Side lunge
- Forward lunge
- Seated stretch
- Knees to chest
- Standing quad stretch
Just like with other exercises, it is important to warm up before stretching too intensely, as you could end up injuring yourself. Along with that, it is also important to take your time and move slowly as you are introducing new things to yourself.
While improving balance may not be the first thing you think about when you work out, not all consider its importance or how it can affect your daily activity. Because it is a primary component of improving coordination and maneuverability, working on your balance may help you prevent falls and enhance your movement when doing activities, such as walking up or down the stairs and changing direction suddenly.
The reality is that balance in physical fitness is an important exercise to consider implementing into your normal routine.
Examples of Balance Training
If you are looking for ways to improve balance, there are exercises and forms of balance training that you can try. Some examples of balance exercises that can help you to maintain or improve your balance is (10):
- Do knee lifts and hold
- Stand on one leg and lift your other leg up, then hold
- Tai chi
Why not add some balance challenges into your workout routine. A great to challenge your balance can be standing on the balls of your feet for increasing intervals. Using a chair back as if it were a ballet barre can be another great way to help you strengthen your ability with a little added support and stability.
Fitness and Nutrition
While some may heavily focus on just physical fitness for living a healthy lifestyle, nutrition is just as––if not the most––important. But why is food important for fitness? We’ll tell you why!
Without proper nourishment that your body needs to function, your physical ability won’t be able to perform at its optimal level because it’s lacking the fuel it needs to do so (11). It’s like putting regular gas in a sports car when it should only take premium gas. Because it’s running on a lower quality of gas when it needs higher quality, it won’t perform as well and––even worse––become damaged. So, it’s important to feed your body the food it really wants and needs to perform.
As added benefits to eating the right foods for exercise, you may be able to achieve greater weight loss and reduce harmful abdominal fat (13, 14).
When you eat nutritious foods that can supply you with plenty of energy without causing blood sugar spikes, like lean forms of protein and healthy fats, you can help ensure that you maintain good energy levels and achieve greater results from your efforts.
Keeping these 4 types of fitness in mind can help you ensure that you’re creating a well-rounded routine and that you continue to make most of your efforts, especially when combined with quality nutrition.
Be sure to check back here on Health VIP Club to stay up-to-date on the latest fitness advice that’s backed by science.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. HealthVIPClub.com assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.