The Three Types of Physical Activity

Overview

Being physically active means doing any kind of activity that gets your body moving.

The types of physical activity that can help you get fit and stay healthy include:

  • Aerobic or "cardio" activities. These make your heart beat faster and make you breathe harder, such as brisk walking, riding a bike, or running. They strengthen your heart and lungs and build up your endurance.
  • Strength training activities. These make your muscles work against, or "resist," something. Examples include lifting weights or doing push-ups. These activities help tone and strengthen your muscles and bones.
  • Stretches. These let you move your joints and muscles through their full range of motion. Stretching helps you be more flexible.

Reaching a balance between these three types of physical activity is important because each one contributes to your overall fitness.

Credits

Current as of: October 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Heather Chambliss PhD - Exercise Science

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