Want to exercise and need help figuring out where to start? In this article, we talk about the main types of physical activity. The body needs to move and is ready to move, says Yolanda Escalante in her editorial for Spain’s Journal of Public Health. However, the frequency with which physical activity is performed is decreasing every day in today’s societies, especially in the children’s sector, despite the wide range of types of physical activity.
This means that a sedentary life has become an ever more frequent habit. Suppose we add to this the food and nutritional problems of today’s society. In that case, the result is the exponential increase of pathologies such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, or metabolic syndrome, among others.
What Is Meant By Physical Activity?
In the previous edition, the author recovers the classic definition of physical activity. We speak of physical activity when a bodily action elaborated by the skeletal fibers generates an energy consumption higher than that in the resting state of the body.
Health professionals indicate the following suggestions for carrying out different types of physical activity every week, according to the different age groups:
- Infants and adolescents (between 5 and 17 years): minimum one hour a day of predominantly aerobic exercise. Furthermore, a minimum frequency of three times a week of physical activities that help to reinvigorate the musculoskeletal system is recommended.
- Adults (18 to 64 years old): A minimum of 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week or two and a half hours of moderate physical activity per week. The ideal scenario is the combination of these two proposals.
- Seniors (65 and older): The same recommendations apply to adults aged 18 to 64. Also, to prevent falls and optimize balance, add three more days of physical activity per week, regardless of exercise type.
The Main Types Of Physical Activity
The reasons for pronouncing for or against this or that physical activity are generally very varied. However, different types of exercise promote health differently.
To stay healthy and maintain good physical condition, it is advisable to combine the three types of physical exercise we show you below.
Types Of Physical Activity For Flexibility
We recommend taking a few minutes to do a few of these exercises each day, as this may increase your risk of injury and stiffness in your joints, which may also reduce your range of motion. With this type of physical activity, you try to stretch all the essential muscles of the upper and lower body.
Endurance Physical Exercises (Anaerobic)
One reason to do this type of physical activity is to maintain a healthy weight. This is because muscles, even at rest, burn more calories than inactive tissue. Additionally, these physical exercises help give the body a more invigorated body image and improve posture. This methodology involves moving your muscles against some resistance, hence the name.
Aerobic Physical Activity
Aerobic physical activity optimizes your physical fitness and keeps your lungs, blood vessels, and heart healthy. Likewise, you can maintain optimal health and a healthy weight by combining these types of exercise with a balanced diet. Any activity that increases your heart rate, uses oxygen and leaves you slightly out of breath is considered aerobic exercise.
Health Benefits Of Exercise
Nowadays, there is no doubt that different types of exercise can help reduce the chances of generating metabolic, heart, or respiratory conditions. However, little has been studied about the benefits of physical activity in general brain activity, academic achievement, or socialization, according to the article published in the Journal of Social Studies.
Benefits Of Academic Performance
Studies suggest that participating in physical exercise for a considerable time in schools has generated advantages in academic achievement compared to other children who do not exercise. On the other hand, there is also an indirect advantage: the fact that the children leave the classroom reduces boredom and increases attention levels upon returning.
Benefits On Socialization
Similarly, physical activity is usually attributed to reinforcing psychosocial factors. This involves responsibility, incorporating social guidelines, companionship, and respect for each other.
In another of the studies cited in the article, they state that, after studying young martial artists, it was shown that they exhibited more excellent social skills higher than average.
Benefits On Brain Activity In General
Again, the article argues that physical activity helps keep the sensory and cognitive function of the brain in better condition. In turn, it is highlighted that different types of physical exercise could be optimal for treating patients with depressive disorders.
Exercise Is Effective Against Anxiety
An article published in the Cuban Journal of Biomedical Research states that patients diagnosed with stress who undergo various types of physical exercise every week tend to exponentially reduce their anxiety, depression, and occupational burnout syndrome.
In addition to psychological factors, physical activity affects the autonomic nervous system. In this way, it prepares him against external factors that can cause anxiety. According to another of the studies mentioned, it has been shown that the regular practice of aerobic exercises helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure in stressful situations.