The most important component of health-related fitness is cardiovascular exercise. Muscle-building exercises can play a part as well. Stretching can help prevent injuries while performing exercise routines, as well as during everyday activities.
Cardiovascular exercise is what most physicians and experts mean when they talk about health-related exercise, and studies show that even a small amount of cardiovascular exercise can have significant health benefits. Any exercise that raises the heart rate is considered cardiovascular; "cardio" refers to the heart. About 15 minutes of exercise 3 days a week is enough to see significant health improvements.
While weightlifting and muscle-building exercises do not improve endurance as much as cardiovascular exercise, studies show that they have similar effects on overall health. In addition, these exercises help people maintain a healthy level of muscle mass as they age. Experts recommend using light weights for their health-related benefits.
Stretching can help people avoid injuries, and balance-related exercises can reduce the risk of potentially dangerous falls. These forms of exercise can help people avoid injuries while exercising, but they also help people avoid injuries in their day-to-day lives. A simple stretching routine keeps tendons and ligaments loose, and it also reduces the likelihood of straining or even tearing a muscle.