Exercise is the key to good health.

Exercise helps you stay mobile, slows the aging process and it keeps you looking and feeling great.


There are 3 major types of exercise; Aerobic, Strength and Stretching.  Every one of these types have multiple variations.

Most people limit themselves to one or two types of physical activity, they do what they are familiar with and they do what they think is the most effective for their health.  By doing so these same people are missing out on the health benefits that are inherent in all of the other exercise types.

Here is a list what you need to know about each exercise type.

1. Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise causes an increase in heart rate and breathing.  The increase in heart rate along with the increase in lung aspiration will increase the oxygenation of the blood and the speed at which the blood is circulated throughout the entire body.  This increase in circulation also helps to move nutrients to all parts of the body.  – It gives your heart and lungs a workout and increases your overall endurance. – – “If you’re too winded to walk up a flight of stairs it’s a good indicator that you need more aerobic exercise to help condition your heart, lungs and muscles.

Aerobic exercise helps relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, control weight, lower blood sugar, reduce inflammation and boost your mood.  Over the long term aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and depression.

Try brisk walking, jogging, roller blading, cycling swimming, climbing or running stairs or any other activity that will get your heart rate up.

2. Strength training

As we age we lose muscle.  Strength training helps slow this natural process and it can even rebuild lost muscle.  Regular strength training will help you feel more confident, stand taller and be more capable in performing the wide range of daily tasks that we all need to do.  Theses tasks can be anything from getting out of bed,  getting up from a chair, going up stairs, carrying groceries, doing yard work or lifting heavy objects.

Strengthening your muscles not only makes you stronger but it also stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, assists with weight control, improves balance, improves posture and reduces the stress and pain in the lower back and joints.

Remember, it’s important to feel some muscle fatigue by the end of the exercise program, this ensures that you are working the muscles effectively.

3. Stretching

We often overlook this part of the exercise regime.  Stretching helps maintain or improve flexibility.

Aging leads to a loss of flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Muscles shorten and don’t function as efficiently as they did when we where young.  This loss in flexibility increases the risk for muscle cramps, muscle damage, strains, joint pain and falling.  Stretching the muscles routinely makes them longer and more flexible which increases the range of motion and reduces pain and the risk of injury.

Aim for a program of stretching of at least three to four times per week.

Warm up your muscles first with some light aerobic exercise.

Perform static stretches – do not bounce (hold a stretch for 10 to 20 seconds).

Stretch your calves, hamstrings, hips, quadriceps and the muscles of the shoulders and lower back.

Do not over stretch.  Only stretch to the point that you feel a tugging sensation.  Over stretching may cause minor muscle or tendon tears.  These tears can be painful which will stop you from doing other physical tasks.

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Brian Forsythe of  EHF  EXECUTIVE HEALTH AND FITNESS  is a natural competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry