There are many different types of exercise, and they fall into 3 basic categories. These categories are Stretching, Aerobic, and Anaerobic. Some forms of exercise combine aspects of part or all of these. The body needs to work through all three types to become healthy and strong. The steps to a basic fitness program are listed below. Remember to check with a physician before starting an exercise program, to find any hidden health issues that could interfere with safe exercise.
1. Warm-up - The first step is to warm-up the joints and muscles. It consists of about 5 minutes of gentle motion, which includes walking, breathing, simple joint movement. These movements bring the blood flow to the muscles, and get them ready to work.
2. Stretching - The second step is stretching. Stretching is not movement. It is a series of positions held for 1-2 minutes each that stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments. A stretch is a gentle pull on the muscles, and there should not be any pain. This should take 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Working-out - This is the main part of an exercise routine. This could be walking, running, weight training, aerobics, jazzercise, dancing, or another activity. An aerobic exercise is defined as the use of oxygen to burn the body's fuel during the activity. Common aerobic activities include walking, hiking, biking or organized classes. These types of activities burn body fat to fuel the body's activity. An anaerobic exercise is defined as an activity that does not use oxygen in the body's fuel burning during the activity. Common anaerobic activities include weight training/body building, sprints, and organized classes. These types of activities burn sugars, either stored or in the blood stream. The difference between the two is the body's heart-rate during exercise.
4. Cool Down - The cool-down is important. It allows the body to slow-down, the heart rate to return to normal, and flush toxins out of the muscles.
5. Stretching - Stretching at the end of a work-out helps keep the muscles flexible. It is a great way to transition the mind and body back into life.