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A common elliptical machine used to practice physical exercises

Physical exercise is defined as a physical activity that includes planned, structured and repetitive bodily movement, aiming to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness and overall health and wellness.[1]



Exercises generally fall into four main categories: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.[2]

  • Endurance - Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate.
  • Strength training - Seeks to improve the muscle strength. It is also called resistance training.
  • Balance - Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults.
  • Flexibility - Seeks to increase one's flexibility helping the body to stay flexible and limber.


  1. Gormley, John; Hussey, Juliette, ed. (2005). Exercise Therapy: Prevention and treatment of disease. Garsington Road, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4051-0527-9. 
  2. Exercise & Physical activity. National Institute on Aging - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1998. p. 12-13.