Benefits of Different Exercises

THE BENEFITS OF VARIOUS FITNESS ACTIVITIES

When choosing physical activities, it is useful to know which area of fitness each activity benefits. The following activities are rated low, medium and high, in terms of their effect on aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. For overall fitness, a cross-training approach combines activities that improve each of these. The key below, provides additional information.

 

ACTIVITY AEROBIC RATING STRENGTH RATING FLEXIBILITY RATING
       
Yoga Low Medium High
Tai Chi Low Low Medium
Judo Low to medium** Medium to high Low to medium
Karate Low to medium** Medium to high High
Golf Low to medium Low Low
Tennis Low to medium** Medium Medium
Badminton Low to medium** Low Medium
Squash Low to medium** Medium Medium
Football Low to medium** Low Low
Swimming Medium to high+ Medium to high Low
Cycling Medium to high+ Medium Low
Circuit training Medium to high# Medium to high# Medium*
Jogging/running High Low Low
Aerobics High Low Medium*
Step aerobics High Low Medium*
Cross-country skiing High Medium Low
Cardio-machines High Low Low

Key:

* Classes usually include a flexibility component at the end of the session.

** These activities are too explosive for real aerobic benefits.

+ These activities must be performed fast for aerobic benefits.

# May be divided to provide equal aerobic/strength benefits or biased.