The Five major types of fitness training include flexibility exercise, dynamic strength-training, static strength-training, aerobic exercise and circuit training. A solid workout plan will incorporate all five of these major fitness training types to improve your health.
Flexibility training is among the most important types of fitness training because it provides a foundation for all your other exercise types. These stretching exercises reduce your risk of injury, improve your flexibility and range of motion, and serve as a solid warm-up for more vigorous exercise. Additionally, yoga can strengthen and relax your muscles, while tai chi can reduce stress and improve your balance. Flexibility exercises are an excellent way to improve your posture and breathing.
Dynamic strength training is considered an anaerobic exercise, and is also known as isotonic exercise. This type of exercise strengthens your muscles over a full-range of motion. Weightlifting and calisthenics are examples of dynamic strength-training. This type of exercise uses resistance to work your muscles through a completed motion, such as performing a bench press, leg press or situp.
Static strength-training is also considered an anaerobic exercise, and is also known as isometric exercise. This type of exercise helps you to maintain muscle strength and tone. Isometrics involve contracting a muscle without moving any joints. Isometric exercises come in two types: submaximal and maximal. Submaximal exercises involve contracting your muscles with less than your maximum strength, such as holding a dumbbell steady with your arm fully extended outward. Maximal exercises involve contracting your muscles with all your strength, such as pushing against an immovable object.
Aerobic training strengthens your cardiovascular system by increasing your heart rate and breathing. These exercises use large muscle groups to perform rhythmic actions for a sustained period of time. Typically, they are performed for longer than 15 minutes and should maintain your heart rate at between 60 percent to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Examples of aerobic exercise include fast walking, jogging, running, stair steppers, elliptical and swimming.
Circuit training combines strength-training with aerobic exercise. This type of exercise involves jogging between exercise stations. At individual stations, you perform different flexibility, dynamic strength training and static strength training exercises. By jogging between the stations, you maintain an elevated heart rate throughout the duration of the circuit. Typically, you perform each station for 30 to 60 seconds and continue the overall circuit for 30 to 60 minutes. This is an effective option to break-up the monotony of your usual workout routine and can be performed indoors during poor weather. To save on space indoors, you can simply run in place for 30 to 60 seconds between exercises.
Exercise helps counteract hormonally-driven mood swings
Exercise counters these hormonally-triggered mood swings by releasing endorphins, another mood regulator. Sometimes called the “runner’s high,” endorphins leave you feeling happy and relaxed after a workout.
Exercise prevents bone loss and osteoporosis
One of the best ways to build strong bones is through exercise, preferably starting in the younger years. “During the teen and young adult years is when women build most of the bone mass that can protect them from osteoporosis later in life,” Dr. Horowitz says.
Exercise keeps weight in check
Middle-aged women lose estrogen in menopause, the body redistributes fat cells to the belly, which can frustrate weight loss. And because muscle burns more calories than fat, women can struggle with maintaining or losing weight as their muscle mass declines with age. Exercise can counter these factors by helping women maintain and build lean muscle mass that makes them look and feel slimmer.
Exercise improves sleep
Thankfully, exercise has an excellent track record of improving sleep. In one study of 2,600 participants, published in the Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity, participants who incorporated 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity into their week reported a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. They said they also felt less sleepy during the day.
It takes personal commitment and readiness. Yet you don’t need to start exercising in a self-punishing way. Just get out there and do something active. Find a friend or a trainer who motivates you to get up and get moving. Remember, it’s not about instant results but long-term change that will bring you better health and self-esteem for a lifetime.