Aerobic exercise, strength training and weight training are different types of physical activity. Learn more about each type to get more from your exercise routine!
Before you start planning a routine of regular physical activities for yourself, take some time to learn more about the different types of physical activity that you can engage in.
Physical activities vary in terms of their intensity, duration, and the benefits they provide for your body. Vary your physical activity to get the most out of your routine.
When engaging in regular physical activity or planning your physical activity routine, it is important for you to know the types of physical activity that you should engage in and the benefits they provide.
Aerobic activity makes you breathe harder and your heartbeat faster. As a result, increases heart and lung fitness. Examples include brisk walking, dancing, cycling, jogging, swimming and playing basketball.
Muscle-strengthening activity increases bone strength and muscular fitness. Such activities should work all the major muscle groups of your body, that is, the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms. Examples include doing different exercises that use your body weight for resistance (e.g. push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats), working with a resistance band and weight training.
To gain health benefits, it is recommended that a healthy adult engages in either:
The good news is that you can:
How do I measure intensity? Intensity is how hard your body is working during aerobic activity. Let's take a look at the difference between moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity activities.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activity causes a slight increase in breathing and heart rate. However, you are still able to talk but not sing during the activity. You should also be perspiring. Examples include:
Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity will cause your heart rate to increase significantly. You will find yourself breathing hard and fast, and find it hard to hold a conversation with someone.
Examples of vigorous-intensity physical activity include:
These activities may vary in intensity between individuals depending on the effort put in and their fitness levels.
Take the following steps to determine your desired intensity:
Besides aerobic activity, you should also engage in activities that strengthen your muscles on 2 or more days a week. Muscle-strengthening activity (also known as strength training) should work all the major muscle groups of your body, that is, the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms.
Muscle-strengthening activity helps to:
Strength training can be done either at home or in a gym. Muscle-strengthening examples include:
Muscle strenghtening activities should be performed progressively to the point at which it is more difficult to do another repetition. A repetition is one complete movement of an activity, like lifting weights or doing sit-ups. You can:
Now that you know the types of physical activity for health benefits, it's time to get active. Use the recommendations as a guide to help you in your journey of health and fitness.
Everyone can enjoy physical activity. However, if you have not been active and have a medical condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma, do consult your doctor on the type and amount of physical activity suitable for you.
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
What is a Healthy Weight?
Recommended Dietary Allowances
5 Exercises to Prevent Chronic Illnesses
The ABCs of Health Screening
Diet vs Exercise
How to Eat Right to Feel Right
View More Programmes
Physical activity is important to health. Get started with HPB's physical activity programmes and get more from life today!
Subsidised health screening for Singapore Citizens.
Browse Live Healthy
In partnership with