Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, to aid growth and improve strength, preventing aging, developing muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, improving health and also for enjoyment.
Many individuals choose to exercise outdoors where they can congregate in groups, socialize, and enhance well-being.
Physical exercises are generally grouped into three types, depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:
- Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and causes the body to use more oxygen than it would while resting. The goal of aerobic exercise is to increase cardiovascular endurance. Examples of aerobic exercise include
- brisk walking
- skipping rope
- playing tennis
- continuous training
- and long distance running.
- Anaerobic exercise, which includes strength and resistance training, can firm, strengthen, and increase muscle mass, as well as improve bone density, balance, and coordination. Examples of strength exercises are
- bench press. Anaerobic exercise also include
- weight training
- functional training
- eccentric training
- interval training
- and high-intensity interval training increase short-term muscle strength.
Flexibility exercises stretch and lengthen muscles. Activities such as stretching help to improve joint flexibility and keep muscles limber.
The goal is to improve the range of motion which can reduce the chance of injury.
Physical exercise can also include training that focuses on accuracy, agility, power, and speed.
Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, regulating the digestive system, building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility, promoting physiological well-being, reducing surgical risks, and strengthening the immune system.
Some studies indicate that exercise may increase life expectancy and the overall quality of life. People who participate in moderate to high levels of physical exercise have a lower mortality rate compared to individuals who by comparison are not physically active.
Moderate levels of exercise have been correlated with preventing aging by reducing inflammatory potential.
Individuals can increase fitness following increases in physical activity levels.Increases in muscle size from resistance training is primarily determined by diet and testosterone.
This genetic variation in improvement from training is one of the key physiological differences between elite athletes and the larger population.
Studies have shown that exercising in middle age leads to better physical ability later in life.