According to Go4Life, exercise can be broken down into four types: aerobic, strength training, flexibility and balance exercises. Although most people focus on just one type of physical activity, people benefit more from incorporating different forms of exercise into their lives.
Aerobic activity involves increasing the heart and breathing rate over an extended amount of time, according to Go4Life. Walking, dancing, biking and gardening are a few activities that qualify as aerobic exercise. These exercises improve heart health and overall fitness.
Strength training increases muscle mass and helps to burn calories more efficiently, according to the Mayo Clinic. Moreover, strength training builds stronger bones and prevents chronic conditions, such as back pain and diabetes. Strength training includes lifting free weights, using resistance tubes and body weight training exercises, such as pushups and leg squats.
Flexibility or stretching exercises improve circulation and the range of motion of the joints, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stretching involves extending a muscle until tension is felt and then holding the stretch for around 30 seconds. According to Go4Life, calf stretches and yoga exercises improve flexibility.
Exercises that improve balance are important, especially for older adults and obese individuals, according to the American Heart Association. These exercises prevent falls. Yoga and tai chai can improve balance. Other exercises that involve balance include standing on one foot and walking heel to toe.