Physical activity and exercise fall into 4 basic categories:
Endurance | Strength | Balance | Flexibility
Most people focus only on one of these types and think they’re doing enough. Mixing up all four types will prevent boredom and will give you the most benefits. Read here about each type.
Endurance and aerobic activities increase your heart rate and breathing. These exercises improve your fitness and can help you in your everyday tasks. Endurance exercises can also help you to improve the health of your heart, circulation system and lungs and might even prevent many diseases that are common in older adults such as heart disease and diabetes. Examples for this type are biking, swimming, jogging, brisk walking and dancing.
Strength exercises help to make your muscles stronger. Even just very small changes in muscle strength can already make a difference. Stronger muscles can make it easier to do everyday things like climbing stairs, open jars, get up from a chair, carry groceries or even play with your grandchildren. You can increase your muscle strength with bodyweight exercises, resistance bands or lifting weights.
Balance exercises help to prevent falls. You can train your balance for example with one-leg balancing exercises or sitting on a Stability Ball. Tai Chi can also help enormously with balance.
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body to stay agile. They give you more freedom of movement for your physical activities and are also handy for everyday activities, such as reaching for objects on a shelf or getting dressed. These exercises include for example shoulder or neck stretches, back stretches, calf stretches etc.