What Are the Different Types of Exercise?

There are four different types of exercise, each one serving a particular purpose. We all know that exercise has many health benefits and is important for bone and muscle strength, heart health, and maintaining a healthy weight. Read this article to learn more about the different types of exercise.

Different Types of Exercise

1. Aerobic (Endurance) Exercises

Jogging: An Example of Aerobic ExerciseAerobic exercises (also known as cardio) increase breathing and heart rate. Aerobic refers to the use of oxygen to meet energy demands during exercise. This type of exercise keeps your lungs, heart, and circulatory system healthy. Some of the benefits of aerobic exercise are improving overall fitness, reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes, as well as helping you build endurance. In general, aerobic exercises are performed at a moderate level of intensity over a relatively long period of time. Examples of aerobic exercises include:

• Brisk walking
• Biking
• Swimming
• Dancing
• Climbing the stairs
• Gardening
• Playing tennis

Aerobic exercise differs from anaerobic exercise (e.g., strength training) in the intensity and duration of muscular contractions involved, and by how energy is generated within the muscle. Anaerobic exercise is more ideal for promoting strength, speed and power, and for increasing muscle mass. Unlike aerobic exercises which are performed for longer periods of time, anaerobic exercises are done for a shorter duration.

2. Strength Exercises

Lifting Dumbbells: An Example of Strength ExerciseAlso known as strength training or resistance training, this type of exercise helps keep your bones and muscles strong. Strength exercises increase muscle mass, endurance, and strength. They also strengthen joints, increase bone density, and build good posture. This type of exercise helps you perform everyday activities like climbing stairs, carrying groceries, and activities that require lifting. Some examples of strength exercises include:

• Lifting free weights (e.g., barbell, dumbbells)
• Using resistance machines
• Using resistance bands

3. Flexibility Exercises

Yoga: An Example of Flexibility ExerciseFlexibility exercises can help you maintain a wide range of motion. Some people may not pay too much attention to this type of exercise because they don’t see it as a “proper exercise” (i.e., doesn’t require too much effort). But in reality, flexibility exercises provide so many benefits. That is why you should include them in your fitness regimen. Aside from increasing the range of motion, this type of exercise supports spinal musculoskeletal health, improves mobility, releases tension, and reduces the risk of injury while doing other types of exercises. Some examples of flexibility exercise include:

• Stretching (e.g., shoulder and upper arm stretch, calf stretch)

4. Balance Exercises

Tai Chi: An Example of Balance ExercisePracticing and improving balance is particularly important for older people because it can strengthen the core and help prevent falls. Almost any activity which keeps you on your feet and moving can help you maintain good balance. But there are specific exercises designed to enhance balance and improve stability. Some examples of balance exercises are:

• Heel-to-toe walk
• Standing on one foot
• Tai Chi


The four different types of exercise are aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance. Most people tend to focus on one type of exercise, thinking they’re doing enough. But it is important to note that each type is different. Mixing up exercises will reduce boredom and allow you to enjoy all the benefits associated with an active lifestyle.

Do you want to get fit and healthy? The FITin56 program makes use of all four types of exercise to help you get fit and stay fit. You will gain access to workout videos, exercise videos, workout plans, health and fitness tips, and a nutrition plan.  Sign up to the FITin56 home fitness program now!

One Reply to “What Are the Different Types of Exercise?”

  1. This is a wonderful, practical post describing exercise terminology – it’s all about the basics of using different muscle groups and why. Sadly, as so many dieters do, they cut out one entire group or call out all “carbs” as the culprit, not understanding the difference between simple and complex.) Every food is a combination of necessary nutrients and should be done in moderation for maximum health. (Oh, and thanks so much 🙂 for following my blog – look forward to reading more of yours.)

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