Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health. It is performed for many different reasons. These include strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance and for enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "diseases of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem, and can even augment an individual's sex appeal or body image. Childhood obesity is a growing global concern and physical exercise may help decrease the effects of childhood obesity in developed countries.
Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body: •
Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, improve the range of motion of muscles and joints. •
Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, swimming, walking, rowing, running, hiking or playing tennis, focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance. •
Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training, functional training or sprinting, increase short-term muscle strength. Categories of physical exercise
Sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used. 'Dynamic' exercises such as steady running, tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. Conversely, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly (during the exercise). Benefits
Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can contribute positively to maintaining a healthy weight, building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility, promoting physiological well-being, reducing surgical risks, and strengthening the...
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