Physical activity by definition means moving the body to use up energy.  Moderate to vigorous activity is recommended in order for physical activity to produce health benefits.  There are essentially 4 types of exercise which can be used to optimize your musculoskeletal health. They are:

  1. Aerobic
  2. Resistance
  3. Flexibility
  4. Balance

Exercise types can blend into each other at times, and it’s not always as clearly demarcated as a line in the sand. However, we can begin to look at them as such:

  1. Aerobic examples: running, swimming, biking
  2. Resistance examples: bodyweight movements (e.g. squatting, push ups, lunging, pull ups), weight training, resistance band training
  3. Flexibility examples: static stretching, dynamic stretching, yoga  
  4. Balance examples: single leg stance, toe/heel walk, arabesque

Each exercise type has its key benefits:

  1. Aerobic – improved lung capacity and vascular health
  2. Resistance – increased muscle strength and bone density
  3. Flexibility – improved tissue resilience and increased range of motion
  4. Balance – decreased risk of falls (especially was we age) and improved joint positioning

Having a nice mix of the four exercise types in your physical training can help you achieve optimal musculoskeletal health.  This leads to decreased risk of injury, decreased chronic systemic low grade inflammation, improved overall mood, improved cardiovascular health, improved posture, and an ideal pattern of mobility and stability throughout the kinetic chain.



Harvard Health Publishing. (2017, January 31). The 4 most important types of exercise – Harvard Health. Retrieved from

What is physical activity? (2015, June 10). Retrieved from

Daniel Yinh

Daniel Yinh


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