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Types of Physical Activity and Different Benefits

A prescription for long-term physical well-being. Start where you are and build step by step. Just our bodies need a whole variety of different foods, so too our bodies benefit from a variety of different kinds of activities and various levels of  intensity.

Types of Physical Activity and Different Benefits


What It Takes

What You Get



Increased weight.


Increased risk for disease.


Reduced energy.

Active Lifestyle


Reduce the “fanfare”!


Get "exercise" without exercising. Blend it with your daily routines.

30 minutes per day (even in 5 to 10 minute increments).


Walk, bike, hike, garden, swim, sweep, shovel, dance, take the stairs, part far away, walk to the store.

Reduced disease risk (cuts risk of diseases in half).


More calories burned.


General well-being and a psychological boost.









Frequency: three times a week or more


Intensity: target heart rate


Time: 20 minutes (continuous).

More calories burned during and after exercise (can increase your metabolism).


Changed fat-cell chemistry.


Conditioned heart and lungs.

Strength Training





Two to three times per week.


Free weights, Nautilus, push-ups, sit-ups, let-lifts, dynabands.


24-48 hours rest between workouts.

(Muscle building occurs during recovery.)

Increased muscle (we steadily lose muscle after age 30). More muscle raises your metabolism.


Stronger bones (helps prevent osteoporosis).


More calories burned.


Use of a variety of muscle groups (some that we don’t often use in our everyday activity).







Tai Chi



Regular stretching after warm-up or after activity.


Stretch while waiting for the bus, while talking on the phone, or while watching TV.


No bouncing, or overstretching. Should not be painful. Take your time with each stretch. Breathe and relax.

Overall flexibility (important to good health).


Decreased general injuries.


The good feeling of a great stretch.


Help improve balance and coordination.

© 2004, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Health Education Services, Cultivating Health™ Weight Management Kit


MAYO CLINIC Fitness for Everybody is designed to help you achieve the goal of becoming physically fit, regardless of your age, size, physical ability or overall health. You'll find information on the various components of fitness and the specific health benefits of each component, as well as detailed and practical information on designing a personal fitness program that can be successful, enjoyable, and cost-effective.

I have found it to be an excellent resource that blends theory with practice. It is loaded with pictures that show how to do various exercises and has a comprehensive section of exercising with various medical conditions.

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!