A physical fitness program helps adults improve overall health and well-being. It can help prevent and treat many chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Exercise can also improve mental health. For example, it can reduce stress, boost mood and even help people overcome drug addictions.
Strength training is a physical fitness program that involves using resistance to strengthen muscles. It can help you build muscle mass, improve athletic performance, and increase bone density.
As personal trainer BB Arrington, CPT, previously wrote for mbg, it can also boost self-confidence and reduce depression. Additionally, it has been shown to contribute to improved sleep and insulin sensitivity.
A variety of exercises and different types of resistance can be used to strengthen muscles. These include body weight, dumbbells, and resistance bands (a portable form of resistance that is easy to carry around).
Start with no weight or light weight and focus on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled descents while isolating the target muscle group. It’s important to work at the right tempo to avoid undercutting your strength gains through momentum.
Cardiovascular (CV) training is any activity that increases your heart rate and breathing rates to at least 50 percent of your normal capacity for a sustained period of time. It is also called aerobic exercise and includes activities such as walking, jogging, running, and cycling.
Cardio exercises are a great way to improve the health of your heart, blood vessels, and lungs while improving your stamina and endurance, which makes them an excellent addition to a physical fitness program. They are also a key part of weight management as they burn calories and can help with muscle tone and strength.
Having good cardiovascular fitness also helps lower your risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease and high cholesterol levels. It also lowers your blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Moreover, it can increase your HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decrease your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. These small improvements in your cardiovascular health add up quickly over time, and they can significantly impact your quality of life!
Balance training exercises are an important part of any physical fitness programs. They improve balance, increase proprioception (the ability to sense the position of your body parts), and can help prevent falls.
Everyone can benefit from improving their balance — from athletes to seniors. And it’s never too early to start!
Ideally, balance exercises should be performed three times per week for about 10 minutes each session. This can be done with or without the use of equipment.
If you have difficulty with balance, ask a trainer or doctor for assistance.
Balance exercises can be as simple as standing on one leg for a few seconds or using balance equipment like a Bosu ball. You can also incorporate them into a strength training workout.
Flexibility is a key component of physical fitness that is often overlooked. It can help prevent aches and pains, improve balance, and decrease your risk of injury.
Stretching is a form of exercise that increases the flexibility of your joints and muscles. It can also help you stay limber for other activities.
Before stretching, warm up by performing easy movements to get your body warmed up and increase blood flow. This can include gentle tai chi, yoga, or Pilates.
As you age, stretching can help keep you more flexible and reduce your risk of falls. It also can reduce aches and pains and improve your posture.
It is important to perform flexibility exercises as part of a complete exercise program with cardiorespiratory, strength, or neuromotor training. As a stand-alone activity, however, flexibility does not have health benefits or reduce the risk of injury.