Three  types of fitness activities and their effectiveness (with Five Key Benefits) [and Examples]
- Physical activities are often confused with exercise, but there’s a difference between the two.
- Exercise is a structured program that is used to maintain physical fitness.
- Physical activity refers to all movement, including during leisure time, for transport to and from places or as part of a person’s work.
- Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity improves health.
Physical fitness activities are excellent as they are perfect for all age groups.
Regardless of age, gender, size, or body shape, these activities benefit everyone.
However, although safe, physical activities might still be too intense for some people.
It is because when it comes to fitness activities, people assume them to be vigorous-intensive.
Well, the good news is that is not true. Instead, you can do moderate-intensity activities, such as aerobic ones like brisk walking.
Moreover, you can choose the fitness activity as per your preferences, age, weight, and health conditions.
Read about the different types of physical fitness activities, how they benefit you and whether they are effective in this article.
Three Popular Fitness Activities
Physical fitness activities can range from moderate-intensive to vigorous-intensive ones.
In addition, there are many activities such as swimming, golfing, yoga, calisthenics, weight lifting, etc.
All of these physical activities are categorized into three broader categories.
The categorization of fitness activities makes it easier for you to select, as per your preferences.
Here are three types of physical activities
- Aerobic activities
- Flexibility activities
- Muscle-strengthening activities
Type Number 1 – Aerobic Activities
Aerobic activities are those activities that make your heart beat faster, and you also breathe harder. These activities are essential for several reasons such as:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Improves weight management
- Lowers blood pressure
- Enhances the heart condition
Activities that fall under the category of aerobic exercise include:
- Jogging and running
- Bicycle riding
- Gardening activities
- Golfing (without a cart)
Type Number 2 – Flexibility Activities
Flexibility activities are those activities that improve your overall flexibility.
These activities are especially great for joint flexibility.
Flexibility is a vital part of our general fitness.
So a loss of it can lead to many medical issues like back pain, etc.
The benefits of flexibility activities are:
- Improved balance and posture
- Fewer injuries (especially if you do sport)
- Greater strength
- Less pain
Activities that fall under the category of flexibility exercise include:
- Tai Chi or Qi Gong
Type Number 3 – Muscle-strengthening activities
Muscle-strengthening activities are those activities that build up your strength in different areas of your body, depending on what exercise you are doing or what area of your body you want to be strengthened.
The benefits of muscle-strengthening activities are:
- Reduce the risk of injury
- It makes you feel good about yourself
- Help keep a healthy body weight
- Strengthens muscles and bones
Types of muscle-strengthening activities are:
- Lifting weights
- Working with resistance bands
- Heavy gardening
How Effective Physical Activities are For Fitness?
All of the physical activities are beneficial in their ways.
Still, the best exercise or fitness routine will contain a combination of aerobic, flexibility, and muscle-strengthening activities for overall body fitness.
The main reason for fitness is to stay healthy and free from illness or injury to improve the quality of your life.
Most people make the mistake of thinking that to remain fit, you need to have an extreme workout routine, and it has to last for a minimum of an hour.
This concept is wrong, and it can even be harmful rather than beneficial for you.
Unless you are into fitness and exercise, there is no need to do heavy physical activities for more than 45 minutes.
Here is how physical activities can improve your overall health:
Benefit 1 – Immediate Brain Health Improvement
Many people think that fitness activities are all about physical health.
However, in reality, it promotes your physical health and mental and spiritual health as well.
Studies show that our brain leads to immediate improvements after a moderate-to-vigorous fitness activity.
In addition, it is observed that children age 6 to 13 years show improved thinking and cognition.
On the other hand, physical activities reduce short-term anxiety in adults.
Furthermore, regular physical activity is very effective in improving your judgment, thinking, and learning skills.
Also, it enhances sleep quality and reduces the risk of depression.
Benefit 2 – Reduced Health Risks
Regular physical activity reduces many severe health risks such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Studies have shown that just 20-30 minutes of exercise or physical activities can reduce your chances of diabetes and heart attacks by up to 40 percent.
Some researches have demonstrated that physical activities improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.
Benefit 3 – Bone and Muscle Strengthening
With age, our bone density, volume, and muscle mass start to decrease.
It is one of the significant contributors to hip fractures, arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis conditions.
However, engaging yourself in aerobic, muscle, and bone-strengthening activities slow down the bone-muscle density loss.
Benefit 4 – Weight Management
Physical activities are often associated with weight loss.
Howbeit physical exercises are practical to maintain a healthy weight.
It means that not only can you lose weight with fitness activities, but also gain it.
Benefit 5 – Improved Ability for Routine Tasks
Being able to do your routine tasks actively and energetically is a blessing.
However, doing even small everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or grocery shopping gets difficult as you age.
It happens because the ability to do daily errands decreases with time.
Unfortunately, this functional limitation has also been observed in many young adults.
\The reason behind this is the lack of fitness activities in our lives. Physically active people are more likely not to have this functional limitation.
Breakdown of Fitness Activities
Now let’s look at some popular fitness activities and which activities are more suitable for which age group.
Walking or speed walking
Both are excellent physical activities for a regular basis for around 30-50 minutes to get your heart rate up and keep your body healthy.
Studies have shown that doing 10000 steps a day is enough to keep you fit and healthy up to WHO standards.
However, this activity is more suited for the older age group of 50 years old and about because it is not too strenuous on the body.
It is another excellent physical activity, and it is counted as both a muscle-building activity and an aerobic activity.
Doctors and physiologists worldwide have recommended swimming as a daily physical exercise for many decades, and the health benefits have been proven in study after study.
For example, a recent study proved that swimming is excellent for weight loss and keeping in shape.
Another physical activity that is both an aerobic activity and a muscle-building activity is cycling.
It is a low-impact physical activity on the body, and you can do as much as you are comfortable with and be cheap and good for the environment.
In addition, cycling provides a good muscle workout as it works with all the major muscles as you ride, increasing your stamina over time.
Cycling is becoming more popular over time both as a leisure sport and physical exercise worldwide.
This physical activity is suitable for all age groups but is more popular amongst the middle age group, 20-40.
Soccer or football
It is one of the worlds’ most popular sports as it is played on every continent and nearly every country
This game can provide you with all the physical activity you need in a day and much more. It is a heavily aerobic activity, and it also strengthens your leg muscles and improves your flexibility.
Golf playing is another great physical activity, especially if you do not use a golf cart.
This activity requires you to spend a few hours outside in the sunshine and the fresh air, and it is a social sport that you can play with your loved ones or meet new friends.
Golf is one of the best activities for reducing stress, improving your mental health, and fostering a healthy sense of competition.
If you are not using a golf cart, then the chances are that golf can assist with weight loss, and it is doubtful that you will get any injuries at all.
Golf doesn’t require any bursts of energy, nor is it heavily taxing on your body, which is why the middle and older age groups usually play it, 20-60 years old.
It is an excellent form of physical exercise. It is usually preferred by people who want to do their physical activities at home and those who want to build muscles.
Push-ups, sit-ups, and standups are simple examples of calisthenics activities.
Studies have shown that calisthenics is one of the best physical activities to build strength and lose calories. Nowadays, it is becoming more and more popular as people are at home due to the pandemic.
So, whatever physical activity you choose, make sure that you enjoy it and don’t overdo it.
If you have any underlying medical conditions, then it is best to consult your doctor before you begin to make sure that it won’t affect your body negatively.
With low-impact muscle-building, an essential rule to remember is that consistency beats everything else all the time.
The more consistent you are with whatever you choose to do, the more results you will start seeing over time.
Disclaimer: This article and the views expressed in here are just our opinions based on the various research studies referenced. The article, by no means presents a prescriptive solution to attaining fitness with any guaranteed results. You should always consult with your doctor before getting on any fitness program in-line with your medical and physical health and condition.