About Exercise

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

The three main categories are: Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, walking, running, hiking, and playing tennis. Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training and flexibility exercises such as stretching. Aerobic and anaerobic are the most common so here is an overview of their qualities:

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic or cardiovascular refers to exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body.

There are various types of aerobic exercise. In general, aerobic exercise is one performed at a low to moderate level of intensity over a longer period. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is not.

Among the recognized benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are a stronger heart, weight loss, improved stamina, and improved mental health.


Anaerobic exercise is the type of exercise that enhances power and builds muscle mass.

The most common form of anaerobic exercise is strength exercise, which is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of muscles.

There are many different methods of strength training, the most common of which are weight and resistance exercise. When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being; including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength, toughness and endurance, improved joint function and improved cardiac function and develop co-ordination and balance.

Aerobic versus Anaerobic

Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, insomnia, and depression.

Strength training appears to have continuous energy-burning effects that persist for about 24 hours after the training, though they do not offer the same cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise.

Not everyone will benefit equally from the different types of exercise. There is tremendous variation in individual response to exercise, where most people will see a moderate increase in endurance from aerobic exercise, some individuals will as much as double their oxygen uptake, while others will not see any benefit at all from the exercise.

Similarly, only a minority of people will show significant muscle growth after prolonged weight training, while a larger fraction experience improvements in strength.

That is why people should experiment and try different types of physical activity so that they find what type of exercise they like and what works for them.

23 May, 2015

4 thoughts on “About Exercise

  1. It can be very confusing on learning what exercises are right for you considering it’s something I haven’t done other than basic training!

    It also doesn’t help that I have to deal with agoraphobia, which can limit my choices on where to go sometimes. Just one of many things going on, but I do have to form some kind of exercise routine before I end up looking like Jabba the Hutt!

    1. Yes anything we deal with can have an affect on our lives including our exercise routines. All we can do is our best with what we’ve been given so that at some point we are able to turn something around.

      I always find it helpful to be informed about things. That way I can decide for myself. Perhaps Randy when your circumstances change and you begin to feel better, you will be able to participate in some form of exercise.

  2. This is a useful summary and it’s helpful to know what exercise helps what.

    I have tried both kinds of exercise before and gave up with the weights as it was just so boring and I really can’t stand going to the gym. I concentrate on my aerobic fitness with cycling and a cross trainer machine and I do feel better for it. I also like walking especially in the local park with a couple of lakes.

    It is so easy to adopt a routine that doesn’t include regular exercise, but i really do believe it has all the benefits mentioned above.

    1. Thank you. Yes I think it’s important to know what exercise helps us and to stick with the exercise we know works the best. Given my own physical problems I find it hard to exercise and wish I could do more, but I do what I can.

      That’s all anyone can do.

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