Fitness is fundamental to a healthy life. Staying active has many benefits as mentioned in the mental health and physical health pages.
There are many types of exercise, such as cardiovascular, HIIT, strength training, and balance/flexibility.
Cardiovascular exercises are designed to improve heart, the blood, the blood vessels, and the respiratory system in providing the required oxygen and fuel to the muscles. Some include walking, running, swimming, and cycling. Cardio is often a full-body workout.
HIIT is short for high-intensity interval training that combines short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. During HIIT exercises, the goal is to reach at least 80% of the heart's max heart rate to improve cardio-respiratory health specifically VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum amount of oxygen the body takes in. HIIT is known for burning calories in a short amount of time due to the high intensity. An example of HIIT is sprinting for 1 minute with rest for 30 seconds and repeat 8 times.
Strength training is known as using free weights or doing body-weight exercises (pushups) to build muscle, but it can also be considered cardio as doing reps of quick sit-ups, lunges, squats, push-ups is equivalent to a running cardio-based workout. Some benefits include increased bone strength and muscle mass. Some examples of exercises with free weights are curls, deadlifts, chest presses, and rows. Some bodyweight exercises include pushups, pullups, tricep dips, and chin-ups.
Often the most underrated type of exercise, flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints and the ability to move joints effectively. Stretching is one of the most common exercises to increase flexibility. In addition, regularly stretching is often linked to decreased injury risk, decreased stress, and better mental health.