Exercise is any physical activity which improves or at least maintains physical health and well-being and the promotion of good health and fitness. Exercise can be broadly classified into exercise for improving general fitness, exercise for preventing or reducing disease and injury, and exercise for improving aesthetic health. The purpose of each of these types of exercise is to promote health and well being by addressing the physiological, mental and social aspects of the individual.
For people who are trying to improve general fitness through exercise, there are a number of options available. One way is to participate in some form of exercise for at least 30 minutes every day using a structured program. This can include traditional cardiovascular exercises such as running, biking, stair climbing, swimming, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or more intense forms of aerobic exercise, such as step aerobics or high impact exercise. These types of exercise will improve stamina, muscle strength, and cardiovascular endurance. However, these types of exercises are best carried out under the guidance of a qualified health care provider.
Another way to promote general health and fitness through exercise is to incorporate activities which require balancing and control. Examples of these activities include swimming, step aerobics, yoga, dance, skating, cycling, rowing, balance exercises (such as abdominal crunches or abdominal kickboxing), and resistance training. Balance exercises are especially important for increasing muscle mass and developing endurance, particularly for those individuals who participate in sports where agility, speed, and balance are an important factor. Yoga and other forms of yoga, in particular, are highly beneficial for promoting balance and flexibility. These exercises also help prevent injury, are particularly important for increasing body mass and can help prevent falls.