What are the different types of exercise?

Here are the three main types of exercise:
  • Aerobic exercise is exercise that uses oxygen and raises your heart rate significantly, so that you are consistently improving your heart muscle, and burning calories effectively.
  • Anaerobic exercise is high intensity exercise usually performed for less than two minutes. It requires phosphates and glycogen instead of oxygen for fuel. Its purpose is to improve overall fitness levels and the ability to sustain aerobic exercise at higher intensities.
  • High impact activity is an exercise where both feet leave the ground simultaneously. Examples include running, jumping jacks, jumping rope, dance aerobics, choreographed kickboxing. This modality of exercise increases bone density because of the impact nature of the exercise. It also conditions the heart because of the increased heart rate component. It is credited with improving endurance, power, agility and coordination.
The different types of exercise include flexibility (stretching), cardiorespiratory (heart and lungs), and resistance training (muscles). Each should be combined to form a comprehensive training program, in conjunction with a healthy, well balanced, diet.
Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
There are many types of exercises that challenge different components of fitness.  It is important to understand the definition of exercise, though.  Exercise is generally structured, where physical activity is not.

So the type will vary.   For example, a step class, a kickboxing class, a pilate class, muay thai boxing class.  They are all structured exercises classes with a clear objective in mind.  Choose your type but never forget the objective. Is it aerobic endurance, strength endurance, strength or flexibility.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise Programs

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.