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May Wellness: Focus on Physical Fitness

A healthy workout routine should include all four types of exercises: balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility. You don’t need to include all of them in one day, but varying the type of exercises throughout your routine helps keep your body in the best shape possible.

Doing different types of exercises also keeps your fitness routine fresh and exciting. Learn more about each of the four types of exercises below and try to work them into your routines for well-rounded workouts.

Endurance or aerobic exercise

These exercises include activities that increase your breathing and heart rate. Endurance exercises improve your overall fitness and help keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy.

Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, and swimming.

Flexibility exercise

Flexibility exercises are a great way to improve your range of motion and freedom of movement. This can help you move easier throughout your day and avoid discomfort when confined to a small space. The best time to do
these exercises is after your muscles are warmed up. This allows your muscles to stretch further without any tightness or pain.

Examples of flexibility exercises include stretches, yoga, and Pilates.

Balance exercise

Good balance is required for many of our everyday activities, such as walking or going up and down stairs. Balance exercises can help prevent falls, especially in older adults. Most are not aware they have weak balance until they attempt balance exercises.

Some examples of balance exercises are yoga and tai chi.

Strength exercise

Strengthening your muscles helps protect your body from injury and boosts your metabolic rate so you can burn more calories. Strength training includes simple, weight-bearing exercises that use free weights, weight machines, or even your body’s own resistance.

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