Health & Fitness refers to the physical and emotional well-being of an individual. Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, improves cardiovascular endurance, and boosts the immune system.
People who enjoy their workouts tend to be more likely to stick with a routine. Get creative and find activities you like: pick apples at an orchard, boogie to your favorite music, or join a dance class.
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio or endurance exercise, uses large muscle groups to keep moving for a sustained period. It increases your heart rate and breathing and helps your lungs and muscles work better at transporting oxygen.
Aerobic activity can be done on a treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, or outside. You don’t need any special equipment, just good running shoes, and comfortable workout clothes. If you’re unsure how to start or have health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Regular aerobic activity may help reduce the gloominess of depression, improve self-esteem, and promote sleep. It also keeps muscles strong and can lower the risk of falls and injuries in older adults. Exercise may also help to preserve memory, reasoning, and judgment skills (cognitive function) in people with dementia. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three to five days a week.
Strengthening (or resistance training) challenges muscles to work against a stronger-than-usual counterforce, such as lifting weights or doing calisthenic exercises that use your body weight for resistance (push-ups and sit-ups). The HHS physical activity guidelines suggest adults do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.
The guidelines recommend aiming for 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, which counts as one set. It is important to increase your strength gradually, so you don’t push yourself too hard. You can also help prevent injury by stretching before and after your workouts, as well as taking rest days to let your muscles recover.
Research suggests that similar to aerobic MVPA, factors like perceived self-efficacy and psychological well-being may be influential in muscle-strengthening exercise adherence. In addition, societal and environmental influences such as program leadership and subjective norms are also likely to play a role. Future epidemiological studies should investigate these constructs to improve our understanding of the determinants of muscle-strengthening exercise participation.
Flexibility is the ability to move your joints through their full range of motion. It varies among individuals, and a variety of factors can affect your flexibility.
A flexible body has better posture and balance. It also reduces the risk of injuries during exercise and daily life. Stretching and bodyweight exercises that target different muscle groups are part of a good flexibility program.
Dynamic flexibility is the ability to make repeated rapid bending and twisting movements (e.g., squats and lunges). This type of flexibility requires active force production, or your muscles contracting. It varies among individuals, and if performed incorrectly, can lead to soft tissue shortening and injury. It’s recommended to do dynamic stretches before a workout. This includes strength training, aerobics, and playing sports. The research on the relationship between flexibility and health outcomes is limited. This may be because of the physiology of flexibility, the tests used to measure it, and the fact that studies often include other fitness variables in addition to flexibility measures.