One of the most important things for good health is regular and consistent exercise. Physical exercise helps us stay fit, have strengthened bodies and muscles, flexibility and general fitness. It increases the body’s metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more fat. Physical fitness gives us good posture, body shape and minimizes health risks such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. This paper will analyze the different types of physical exercises and their benefits.
The benefits of physical activity
Vary from intense training to moderate aerobic activity such as walking, jogging and swimming, among others. It is very important for weight control, keeping healthy and ultimately for longer life. Physical activity has been proven to help minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as abnormal sugar levels. It is important for strengthening bones, building muscles, and generally improving one’s physical strength. Physical activity is also important for improving mood, mental development and health. For older people, it is important for improving stability and protection against many old age diseases. It also reduces the risk of some types of cancer, especially those associated with old age (Corbin, Charles, Gregory, Welk, William, & Karen, 2010).
Preparing for physical activity
Before beginning regular exercise, the most important factor to consider is medical readiness (Cobin et al., 2010). Physical activity means that the cardiovascular system is working harder, and increased stress levels can be a risk to some people. A Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) helps medical consultants determine one’s readiness and how much activity they should engage themselves in. After the medical examination, the three components of a daily activity program are important considerations. The three are warm-up, the work-out and the cool-down (Cobin et al., 2010). A warm-up and workout are important for proper blood flow and muscle stretching respectively. A cool-down is important for helping the body recover after training. Weather conditions must be favorable, especially if one has any health challenges. Other important considerations are sports attires, equipment and weather
The correct amount of physical activity
For one to fully benefit from fitness, there are set of rules that must be adhered to. Frequency, Intensity, Type and Time of exercise (FITT) guidelines help ensure that the levels of resistance, cardiovascular and respiratory protection are at an acceptable level. The FITT principle helps people put in place training schedules, which cater to their individual needs. The frequency of any sort of physical activity must ensure a balance between the body’s stress level and healing time. The second rule of FITT, which is intensity, dictates the amount of effort and energy for any particular training program (Cobin et al., 2010). This rule ensures that the body is not overworked, by using measurements such as maximum and target heart rates. The third component of FITT, which is type, ensures that one chooses the right type of activity to achieve appropriate results. Lastly, time dictates how long one should spend on what activity.
For example: for someone aged 21 years with a low fitness level
The Intensity component of FITT dictates that MHR = 220-age
Maximum Heart rate (MHR) = 220-21 = 199
Target heart rate = 50% – 70% of MHR = 99.5bpm to 140bpm
where bpm is beats per minute.
Since the person has a low fitness level, the type component of FITT suggests a cardiovascular activity that is continuous in nature such as swimming. The time component of FITT dictates that such a person should aim at staying at their target heart rate for a quarter an hour during training. This can then be slowly increased to levels deemed fit according to their fitness level.
The correct type of physical activity
Lifestyle physical activity takes the biggest part of the pyramid because it is the easiest and everyone is perfectly capable of doing it every day. It should be an everyday objective by regarding movement as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience (Cobin et al., 2010). It includes taking extra steps at work instead of taking the lift, walking the dog and other simple activities. Aerobic activity or active sport, depending on what one is involved in, should be done five or six days a week for 30 minutes. Activities in this classification include walking an average of 3 kilometers, biking 12 to 16 kilometers, rowing or skiing for 30 minutes, among other activities. Exercise for flexibility or muscular strength and endurance should be done 2 to 3 days a week. Leisure activities could include swimming or gardening, while sports activities can include football and tennis, just to mention a few. The last part of the pyramid is resting or inactivity which should be occasional. It allows the body to rest and heal. The structure is summarized below:
Cardiovascular exercise has been proven to have tremendous health benefits when performed in the right way. Also known as cardio-respiratory exercise, cardiovascular is recommended for losing body fat by helping burn calories. It is part of treatment for many diabetes patients, as it increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Cardiovascular exercise plays an important role in protecting people against risks associated with coronary artery attacks caused by high blood cholesterol levels (Cobin et al., 2010). It helps the body and mind relax, minimizes depression and other anxiety symptoms. It allows people to develop proper body weight and shape. For one to reap the benefits of cardiovascular exercises, they have to be done in a professionally established program. The first program is a warm-up, which includes a 5 to 10 minutes stretching. The second program is increased intensity, done in consideration of one’s fitness level and other health factors. The third program is cooling, which helps the body heal and resumes normal functioning.
Strength and muscular endurance fitness
Strength and muscular fitness have more benefits than just looks. It gives the body functional strength, allowing one to handle more physical tasks and challenges. It helps the body burn calories by increasing the body’s metabolic rate. Muscular fitness allows people to sleep better, while strengthened muscles give the body higher energy levels. It helps prevent diseases and gives the body a better posture, which is good for the health of the bones. For older people, it helps them maintain physical strength and minimize the risks of old age diseases. In any physical exercise, muscles grow progressively. Workload increments are supposed to be sufficient enough for improvements but should not be too much to cause damage (Cobin et al., 2010). Progressive resistance exercise is based on the maximum load a body can handle and repetitions that the body can handle. Between sessions, progress is monitored to ensure that one stays at their normal and acceptable levels.
Flexibility includes stretching and specific routines and is aimed at helping develop an easy and free movement of joints. It improves physical capabilities and minimizes one’s risk of joint injuries. A flexible joint is less likely to get injured or develop posture problems. It reduces muscle soreness and improves posture, which is especially beneficial to old people. People who are regularly involved in flexibility fitness have fewer cases of low back pains because muscles are more relaxed. Flexibility fitness helps with muscle coordination and helps people enjoy physical activities. Stretching principles call for knowing one’s aerobic endurance by having the heart and lung’s efficiency measured by a doctor. The second principle is knowing one’s muscular endurance, which again can be done by a qualified trainer through fitness questionnaires. The third principle is knowing one’s muscle strength to ensure that the maximum amount of force, which the muscles can handle, is not exceeded. Some people will have very strong hands but have weak hands, factors which should be put into consideration before training begins. Lastly, one should have the body composition examined such as fat levels, bones and muscles weight and strength (Cobin et al., 2010 ).
Three months fitness program
|Monday||Basketball for cardiovascular exercise||a 10 minutes jog for warm-up, followed by 40 minutes basketball routine|
|Tuesday||Gym for chest and quads exercise||5 minutes warm-up and 5 minutes stretch |
35-45 chest and quads routine
30 push-ups and 30 squads, followed by 120 seconds rest after each of the sets.
10 minutes stretch and walk to resume normal body activity
|Wednesday||Gym for back and joints exercises||10 minutes for warming up and stretching |
40 minutes physical fitness and back exercises
2 minutes bent over barbell rows
2 minutes weights lifts
100 seconds rest after each set
2 minutes swiss ball leg
3 minutes chin-ups
100 seconds rest after a set
|Thursday||Basketball for cardiovascular development||a 10-minute jog for warm-up followed by 40 minutes basketball routine. |
a 10-minute walk back home to allow cool off and relaxation
|Friday||Gym for upper body and back exercise||10 minutes for cardiovascular warm-up and stretching |
45 minutes exercise routine
For biceps, 2 minutes shoulders curls
3 minutes bench push-ups
100 seconds rest after each set.
3 minutes standing shoulder and neck curl
3 minutes grip push-ups
100 seconds rest after each set
|Saturday||Outdoor training for cardiovascular fitness||a 50-minute jog outdoors |
5 minutes slow jog
5 minutes fast run. Repeat the sequence for 40 minutes
5 minutes slow jog for cooling off and 5 minutes walk.
The program is aimed at helping lose fat but retaining muscles. It is also aimed at maintaining fitness. Each day allows for warm-up, at least 40 minutes of exercise and time to cool off.
Personal fitness is extremely important for health and well-being. Physical fitness is important for burning calories and weight control. Preparation for physical activity is as important as the exercise itself. A PAR-Q questionnaire gives guidelines for this. The FITT principle helps one measure frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise appropriately to avoid over-training. The type of physical activity one should be engaged in is determined by factors such as health and fitness level. Different types of fitness activities include cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance fitness and flexibility, all of which have different benefits to the body when done correctly.
Corbin, C., Charles, C, Gregory, W., Welk, G., William, C., & Karen, W. (2010). Concepts of fitness and wellness: A comprehensive lifestyle approach. New York: McGraw-Hill College.