≡ Menu

fitness training

Participant in a Catoctin Mountain in 2005

Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains [6]



Types of exercise

Physical exercises are generally grouped into three types,[7] depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:

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 systolic pressure to rise significantly (during the exercise).


Physical exercise is used to improve physical skills. Physical skills fall into the following general categories: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.[11]

Metabolic equivalent of task

The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed for use in epidemiologic studies to standardize the assignment of metabolic equivalent of task (MET) intensities in physical activity questionnaires. The Compendium is list of physical activities and the associated energy cost of each activity. The original Compendium was published in 1993, the first update in 2000, and the most recent update in 2011.[12]

MET (Metabolic Equivalent): The ratio of the work metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate. One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly. A MET also is defined as oxygen uptake in ml/kg/min with one MET equal to the oxygen cost of sitting quietly, equivalent to 3.5 ml/kg/min.

Health effects

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 immune system.

Exercise reduces levels of [14]

Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions such as [17]

There is evidence that vigorous exercise (90–95% of VO2 Max) induces a greater degree of physiological cardiac hypertrophy than moderate exercise (40 to 70% of VO2 Max), but it is unknown whether this has any effects on overall morbidity and/or mortality.[18]

Exercise in space: Astronaut microgravity environment

Some studies have shown that vigorous exercise executed by healthy individuals can increase citation needed]

Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise work to increase the mechanical efficiency of the heart by increasing cardiac volume (aerobic exercise), or myocardial thickness (strength training). Such changes are generally beneficial and healthy if they occur in response to exercise.

Not everyone benefits equally from exercise. There is tremendous variation in individual response to training; where most people will see a moderate increase in endurance from [27]

Cardiovascular system

The beneficial effect of exercise on the cardiovascular system is well documented. There is a direct relation between physical inactivity and cardiovascular mortality, and physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. There is a dose-response relation between the amount of exercise performed from approximately 700 to 2000 kcal of energy expenditure per week and all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in middle-aged and elderly populations. The greatest potential for reduced mortality is in the sedentary who become moderately active. Most beneficial effects of physical activity on cardiovascular disease mortality can be attained through moderate-intensity activity (40% to 60% of maximal oxygen uptake, depending on age). … persons who modify their behavior after myocardial infarction to include regular exercise have improved rates of survival. … Persons who remain sedentary have the highest risk for all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.[28]

Immune system

Although there have been hundreds of studies on exercise and the immune system, there is little direct evidence on its connection to illness. Epidemiological evidence suggests that moderate exercise has a beneficial effect on the human immune system; an effect which is modeled in a J curve. Moderate exercise has been associated with a 29% decreased incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), but studies of marathon runners found that their prolonged high-intensity exercise was associated with an increased risk of infection occurrence. However, another study did not find the effect. Immune cell functions are impaired following acute sessions of prolonged, high-intensity exercise, and some studies have found that athletes are at a higher risk for infections. The immune systems of athletes and nonathletes are generally similar. Athletes may have slightly elevated natural killer cell count and cytolytic action, but these are unlikely to be clinically significant.[29]

Vitamin C supplementation has been associated with lower incidence of URTIs in marathon runners.[29]

Biomarkers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein, which are associated with chronic diseases, are reduced in active individuals relative to sedentary individuals, and the positive effects of exercise may be due to its anti-inflammatory effects. The depression in the immune system following acute bouts of exercise may be one of the mechanisms for this anti-inflammatory effect.[29]

Brain function

A 2008 review of cognitive enrichment therapies (strategies to slow or reverse cognitive decline) concluded that “physical activity, and aerobic exercise in particular, enhances older adults’ cognitive function”.[30]

In mice, exercise improves cognitive functioning via improvement of [34]

There are several possibilities for why exercise is beneficial for the brain. Examples are as follows:

Physical activity is thought to have other beneficial effects related to cognition as it increases levels of nerve growth factors, which support the survival and growth of a number of neuronal cells.[38]


A number of factors may contribute to [44]


A 2010 review of published scientific research suggested that exercise generally improves sleep for most people, and helps sleep disorders such as insomnia. The optimum time to exercise may be 4 to 8 hours before bedtime, though exercise at any time of day is beneficial, with the possible exception of heavy exercise taken shortly before bedtime, which may disturb sleep. There is, in any case, insufficient evidence to draw detailed conclusions about the relationship between exercise and sleep.[45]

According to a 2005 study, exercise is the most recommended alternative to sleeping pills for resolving insomnia. Sleeping pills are more costly than to make time for a daily routine of staying fit, and may have dangerous side effects in the long run. Exercise can be a healthy, safe and inexpensive way to achieve more and better sleep.[46]

Excessive exercise

Too much exercise can be harmful. Without proper rest, the chance of [50]

Inappropriate exercise can do more harm than good, with the definition of “inappropriate” varying according to the individual. For many activities, especially [53]

In extreme instances, over-exercising induces serious performance loss. Unaccustomed overexertion of muscles leads to [55]

Stopping excessive exercise suddenly can also create a change in mood. Feelings of depression and agitation can occur when withdrawal from the natural endorphins produced by exercise occurs.[marathons, another body may be damaged by 20 minutes of light jogging. This must be determined for each individual.

Too much exercise can also cause a female to miss her period, a symptom known as amenorrhea.[56]

Public health measures

As of 2011 the effects of community wide interventions to increase exercise levels at the population level is unknown.[59]

Metabolic equivalent of task

The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed for use in epidemiologic studies to standardize the assignment of metabolic equivalent of task (MET) intensities in physical activity questionnaires. The Compendium is list of physical activities and the associated energy cost of each activity. The original Compendium was published in 1993, the first update in 2000, and the most recent update in 2011.[12]

MET (Metabolic Equivalent): The ratio of the work metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate. One MET is defined as 1 kcal/kg/hour and is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly. A MET also is defined as oxygen uptake in ml/kg/min with one MET equal to the oxygen cost of sitting quietly, equivalent to 3.5 ml/kg/min.

Exercise trends

Worldwide there has been a large shift towards less physically demanding work.Personal lifestyle changes however can correct the lack of physical exercise.

Nutrition and recovery

Proper nutrition is as important to health as exercise. When exercising, it becomes even more important to have a good diet to ensure that the body has the correct ratio of macronutrients whilst providing ample micronutrients, in order to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise.[61]


The benefits of exercise have been known since antiquity. [64] This link had not previously been noted and was later confirmed by other researchers.

In other animals

Physical exercise has been shown to benefit a wide range of other mammals, as well as salmon, crocodiles and one species of bird.[65]

See also


  1. edit
  2. ^ Hu., F., Manson, J., Stampfer, M., Graham, C., et al. (2001). Diet, lifestyle, and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in women. The New England Journal of Medicine, 345(11), 790–797. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  3. ^ “Exercise”. medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/physical+exercise. In turn citing: Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008. Citation: “Strengthening exercise increases muscle strength and mass, bone strength, and the body’s metabolism. It can help attain and maintain proper weight and improve body image and self-esteem”
  4. ^ “WHO: Obesity and overweight”. who.int. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/facts/obesity/en/.
  5. ^ American Association of Kidney Patients, “Physical Activity and Exercise: The Wonder Drug”
  6. ^ National Center for Biotechnology Information, “The miracle drug”
  7. ^ “Your Guide to Physical Activity” (NHLBI produced publications: Color). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). 2007. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/phy_active.pdf. Retrieved March 2011.
  8. ^ O’Connor, D., Crowe, M., Spinks, W. 2005. Effects of static stretching on leg capacity during cycling. Turin, 46(1), 52–56. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  9. ^ Wilmore, J., Knuttgen, H. 2003. Aerobic Exercise and Endurance Improving Fitness for Health Benefits. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 31(5). 45. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  10. ^ de Vos, N., Singh, N., Ross, D., Stavrinos, T., et al. 2005. Optimal Load for Increasing Muscle Power During Explosive Resistance Training in Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology, 60A(5), 638–647. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  11. http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  12. ^ https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/
  13. ^ A. Cornil, A. De Coster, G. Copinschi, J. R. M. Franckson (1965). “Effect of muscular exercise on the plasma level of cortisol in man”. European Journal of Endocrinology. http://www.eje-online.org/content/48/1/163.abstract.
  14. 2006229.
  15. http://www.nasm.org/nasmpro/library/showarticle.aspx?id=14220#one. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  16. 19568199.
  17. ^ Silberner, Joanne (June 7, 2010). “100 Years Ago, Exercise Was Blended Into Daily Life”. npr.org. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127525702. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  18. 19550205.
  19. ^ Hanc, J. 1987. Your Health Behind the Runner’s Euphoria. ”Newsday, April 21, 1987,” 11. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database
  20. ^ http://journals.lww.com/neuroreport/Abstract/2003/12020/Exercise_activates_the_endocannabinoid_system.15.aspx.
  21. ^ http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297–1102-0,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
  22. http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/87/3/1003?ijkey=189eebcbc5a461258da582b4aef41ebcf7bec51f&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  23. ^ Kolata, Gina (February 12, 2002). “Why Some People Won’t Be Fit Despite Exercise”. The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406EEDE113CF931A25751C0A9649C8B63&sec=health. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  24. 15947721.
  25. http://web.archive.org/web/20070810081848/http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/~eparra/profile/PDF+files/Brutsaert+and+Parra,+2006.pdf. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  26. ^ Geddes, Linda (2007-07-28). “Superhuman”. New Scientist. pp. 35–41.
  27. ^ “Being active combats risk of functional problems”. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_58065.html.
  28. ^ AHA: Physical activity recommendations
  29. ^ http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/103/2/693.
  30. ^ Hertzog C, Kramer AF, Wilson S, Lindenberger U. (2008). “Enrichment Effects on Adult Cognitive Development: Can the Functional Capacity of Older Adults Be” (PDF). Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9 (1): 1–65. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01034.x. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/journals/pspi/pdf/PSPI_9_1%20main_text.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
  31. 10195220.
  32. 16107648.
  33. ^ West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
  34. ^ Could Exercise Regenerate Alcohol-Damaged Neurons? – Levin 41 (23): 20 – Psychiatr News
  35. 10195220.
  36. 18059283.
  37. ^ Parker-Pope, T. (2001). For a Healthy Brain You Really Need to Use Your Head — Physical and Mental Exercise Can Stave Off Mental Decline. The Wall Street Journal Europe, November 26, 2001, 8. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  38. ^ Edward McAuley,* Arthur F. Kramer, and Stanley J. Colcombe, E; Kramer, Arthur F; Colcombe, Stanley J (2004). “Cardiovascular fitness and neurocognitive function in older Adults: a brief review” (PDF). BRAIN, BEHAVIOR, and IMMUNITY. 18 (2004): 214–220. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2003.12.007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20070616225929/http://www.kch.uiuc.edu/labs/exercise-psychology/Library/pubs/McAuley_Brain_Behavior_Immunity_2004.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
  39. http://books.google.com/books?id=A6oIAAAACAAJ.
  40. ^ Thase, Michael (2007). “Endorphin Power: Fight Depression With Exercise”. everydayhealth.com. http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/specialists/endorphin-power-fight-depression-with-exercise.aspx.
  41. ^ b The influence of physical activity on mental well-being. Dr. Kenneth R. Fox, Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Priory House, Woodlands Rd., Bristol, UK
  42. ^ Byrd, Andrea. “Biology 202, Serotonin and Its Uses. 1999 First Web Reports On Serendip”. http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro99/web1/Byrd.html. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  43. ^ Public Health Nutrition (1999), 2:411–418 Cambridge University Press doi:10.1017/S1368980099000567 Research Article
  44. ^ Plante, Thomas G.; Coscarelli, Laura; Ford, Marie (2001). “Does Exercising with Another Enhance the Stress-Reducing Benefits of Exercise”. International Journal of Stress Management 8 (3): 201–213. http://www.esf.edu/for/schuster/FOR%20475/exercise%20with%20another.pdf. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  45. ^ Buman, M.P. and King, A.C.: “Exercise as a Treatment to Enhance Sleep”, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Nov-Dec 2010.
  46. ^ Youngstedt, S.D. (April 2005). “Effects of exercise on sleep”. Clin Sports Med. 24(2): 355–65, xi. http://www.svl.ch/Sport+Schlaf/3.pdf. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  47. ^ Alexander, C. 1998. Cutting weight, losing life. News & Observer, February 8, 1998, A.1. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  48. ^ Möhlenkamp S, Lehmann N, Breuckmann F et al. (2008). “Running: the risk of coronary events”. European Heart Journal 29 (15): 1903–1910. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehn163.
  49. ^ Benito B, Gay-Jordi G, Serrano-Mollar A et al. (2011). “Cardiac arrhythmogenic remodeling in a rat model of long-term intensive exercise training”. Circulation 123: 13–22. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.938282.
  50. 21330616. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119133/.
  51. 20728675.
  52. ^ Int Panis, L; De Geus, Bas; Vandenbulcke, GréGory; Willems, Hanny; Degraeuwe, Bart; Bleux, Nico; Mishra, Vinit; Thomas, Isabelle et al. (2010). “Exposure to particulate matter in traffic: A comparison of cyclists and car passengers”. Atmospheric Environment 44 (19): 2263–2270. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.04.028.
  53. ^ Jacobs, L; Nawrot, Tim S; De Geus, Bas; Meeusen, Romain; Degraeuwe, Bart; Bernard, Alfred; Sughis, Muhammad; Nemery, Benoit et al. (Oct 2010). “Subclinical responses in healthy cyclists briefly exposed to traffic-related air pollution”. Environmental Health 9 (64): 64. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-9-64. http://www.ehjournal.net/content/9/1/64.
  54. ^ Jimenez, C., Pacheco, E., Moreno, A., Carpenter, A. 1996. A Soldier’s Neck and Shoulder Pain. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 24(6), 81–82. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from ProQuest database.
  55. dead link]
  56. dead link]
  57. 21491409.
  58. 11985936.
  59. ^ Durán, Víctor Hugo. “Stopping the rising tide of chronic diseases Everyone’s Epidemic”. Pan American Health Organization. paho.org. http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/ePersp001_article01.htm. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  60. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20081218104805/http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/facts/obesity/en/. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  61. ^ Kimber, N., Heigenhauser, G., Spriet, L., and Dyck, D. 2003. Skeletal muscle fat and carbohydrate metabolism during recovery from glycogen-depleting exercise in humans. The Journal of Phsyiology, 548(Pt. 3), 919–927.
  62. ^ “Quotes About Exercise Top 10 List”. http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-quotations.com/quotes-about-exercise.html.
  63. ^ Kuper, Simon (11 September 2009). “The man who invented exercise”. Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/e6ff90ea-9da2-11de-9f4a-00144feabdc0.html. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  64. ^ 13110049.
  65. ^ Exercise training and aerobic capacity


  • Donatelle, Rebecca J. (2005). Health, The Basics (6th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Education. ISBN 0-8053-2852-1.
  • Hardman, A.; Stensel, D. 2009. Physical Activity and Health: The Evidence Explained. London: Routledge ISBN 978-0-415-42198-0
  • Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Leon AS, Jacobs DR Jr, Montoye HJ, Sallis JF, Paffenbarger RS Jr. Compendium of physical activities: Classification of energy costs of human physical activities. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1993; 25:71-80.
  • Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Whitt MC, Irwin ML, Swartz AM, Strath SJ, O’Brien WL, Bassett DR Jr, Schmitz KH, Emplaincourt PO, Jacobs DR Jr, Leon AS. Compendium of Physical Activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2000;32 (Suppl):S498-S516.
  • Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities: a second update of codes and MET values. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.(in press).
  • Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved [date] from the World Wide Web. https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/

External links


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article fitness training, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.