Are you including all 4 types of exercise?

As creatures of habit, we tend to slip into a routine, limiting ourselves to one or two types of physical activity. To feel our best, we really should be practicing all four types of exercise. Get to know each type, as well as how to incorporate them into your daily life.


1. Aerobic


Examples of aerobic exercise

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Playing sport, e.g. tennis


Health benefits of aerobic exercise

By making you breathe harder and getting your heart rate up, aerobic exercises:

  • Strengthen your heart and lungs
  • Lower “bad” cholesterol and blood sugar and pressure levels
  • Reduce the risk of disease, including stroke and type 2 diabetes


How much aerobic exercise do you need?

Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or swimming, 5 days per week. Find out if your Village offers water or aqua aerobics. If you aren’t able to get outside, try marching in place. Alternatively, take 4 steps forward and 4 steps backward.


Aerobic exercise tips

Lift your knees higher to further increase your heart rate and breathing.  




Image source: Pexels


2. Strength


Examples of strength exercise

  • Weight training
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Push, pull and sit-ups


Health benefits of strength exercise

Strength training is responsible for:

  • Building muscle mass
  • Stimulating bone growth
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Improving balance and reducing your risk of falls


How much strength exercise do you need?

Commit to doing chair squats or push-ups against a wall, 2 to 3 times a week. Try doing between 5 and 15 repetitions, for 2 or 3 sets.


Strength exercise tips  

Chair squats and wall push-ups are great and safe. Start slow and stop at the earliest sign of dizziness.





Image source: Pexels


3. Stretching


Examples of stretching

Static stretches involve holding a stretch for 30 or more seconds, while dynamic stretches focus on more natural movements.


Health benefits of stretching

Stretching isn’t optional, it’s essential. Maintaining flexibility as you age prevents:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cramps
  • Strains


How much stretching do you need to do?

Try performing stretches at least 3 times a week. Start with something repetitive like arm or ankle circles and then hold a position, like child’s pose (below), for about a minute.


Image source: Pexels


Stretching tips

There are plenty of free yoga and pilates apps and streaming websites. These resources have workouts for all levels. We recommend checking out and filtering by Yoga for Seniors.





4. Balancing


Examples of balancing exercises

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Physical therapy


Health benefits of balancing exercises

It makes sense that the steadier you are on your feet, the less susceptible you are to falling. The good news is, you can improve your balance by training the systems that are responsible for maintaining it, including your:

  • Vision
  • Inner ear
  • Leg muscles
  • Joints


How much balancing exercises do you need to do?

We recommend doing balance exercises behind a chair, such as standing and lifting one knee at a time toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times before moving to the other side. At least twice a week should do the trick.


Balancing exercise tips

Slowly breathe out while lifting and in while lowering.




In conclusion

A combination of all 4 types of exercise will allow you to perform the everyday activities you love, like picking up your grandchildren or bending down to play with your dog. Start improving your quality of life, today!



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