Four Exercise Types to Choose From

There are many ways to get your 2.5 hours of recommended exercise each week. Find something you enjoy and include it in your regular routine. To start, it’s important to note that there is more to exercising than just strength training. In fact, there are four (4) main exercise types, and you should be sure to do them each week. You usually see each type covered individually. Yoga for example, doesn’t normally mix stretching (Yoga with Weight training), so you need to be diligent about working all four types into your week, not just focus on just one.

Getting each of these four types into your workout week will help keep it interesting! And you don’t have to start with 2.5 hours a week, you can increase each week until you feel comfortable. The best way is to increase your level of activity over time. Make it a lifetime effort – a marathon, not a sprint. And be sure to see our Exercise Basics below before you begin any exercise routine.

Four Exercise Types

There are 4 main types of exercise we’ll focus on here.

Balance, Endurance, Flexibility and Strength. We call these BEFS.Circular Exercise Types

BEFS go hand-in-hand to create the full range of what you need to stay physically fit. You should try to include all 4 types into your weekly exercise routine.

PHC Logo

And we use 4 colors in our logo to represent the four main types of exercise. This keeps them top-of-mind. They are that important!

Let me explain a bit more and how you might work them into your everyday life. See if you like my weekly routine in Your Workout Week‘ widget on our home page.

More about the 4 Main Types of Exercises

Balance, Endurance, Flexibility, and Strength. Most people think of strength when they think of exercises, but gentle stretches count too. And we could all use a little help. So, we have included just a few products suggestions to help you get on your way. You can shop or buy now.

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to those smiley packages with a neoprene weight set or mat. It is just the thing I need to keep me motivated.


Keep Your Balance!

Increase Your Endurance!

Stretch and Get Flexible!

Get Strong, Stay Strong!


Balance exercises help prevent falls. Many lower-body strength exercises also improve balance.

Everyday exercises to improve your balance include:

  • Stand on tiptoe to reach the top shelf
  • Standing on one foot
  • Tai Chi

You may like:

A few suggestions to motivate you to stay balanced:

Bosu Balance Trainer
65cm | 4.6 out of 5 stars | Amazon’s Choice

SpoxFit Exercise Ball Chair
with Resistance Bands | 4.7 out of 5 stars | Amazon’s Choice


Endurance or aerobic exercises increase your breathing and heart rate. These activities help you stay healthy, improve fitness, and help you do everyday tasks.

Everyday exercises to improve your endurance include:

    • Push your children on a swing
    • Running the Vacuum
    • Dancing, biking, jogging, swimming

Visit Endurance Exercises for a few ideas:


Stretching exercises help your body stay flexible and limber. This gives you more freedom of movement. Some everyday exercises to improve your flexibility include:

  • Look over your shoulder
  • Make the bed
  • Bend over and tie your shoes
  • Reaching into a cabinet

Try our favorite stretching workout: Flexibility – Full-Body Stretch Workout

Get more from your flexibility workout with bands. Try Limm Resistance Bands Exercise Loops.

Limm Resistance Bands Exercise Loops
12-inch Full Body Workout Bands | 4.3 out of 5 stars | Amazon’s Choice
Exercise Types - Strength - Add Resistance Bands


Strength exercises increase muscle. These can make a big difference in everyday activities. Using weights are sometimes called strength or resistance training. And most people think of strength training, but the other 3 types of exercise are important too.

Everyday exercises to improve your strength include:

  • Carrying shopping bags up and down stairs
  • Carrying your dog or cat
  • Bring groceries in from the car

You can build your strength with weights. Don’t overdo it though. You’ll feel strong with your first session but use caution and don’t overdo it. It may be the next day before you feel the effects.

RitFit Set of Two Neoprene Dumbbells
Coated for Non-Slip Grip, 1 – 20 lb. | 4.7 stars
Exercise Types - Strength - Add Weights

Four Most Important Types of Exercise:

  • Check with your Doctor before starting an exercise routine.
  • Eat something within an hour of waking to kick-start your metabolism (a half banana will do).
  • Be sure to breathe correctly when exercising:
    • Cardio such as Running / Endurance Exercises – take deep breaths and get into a rhythm.
    • Weight / Strength Training – breathe out when your muscles are contracted (this is the hardest part of the exercise) and breathe in when you return to the starting position.
    • Stretching / Flexibility Exercises – breathe deeply and in rhythm.
  • Stretch after you have completed your workout.
  • If you must spend a lot of time sitting, be sure to stand up and move at least once an hour.
  • It is important to balance your routine with exercises that work opposing muscles.

You may enjoy: The Muscles You Should be Exercising, Core

Beyond the Four Exercise Types: Lifetime Activity Tips

Tip #1 If you must spend a lot of time sitting, if possible, stand up and move around every 30 minutes. Sitting isn’t your only option for a productive day at the office – Visit our Fitness Store page to get some ideas on desks that offer other options. You may want to read reviews to see if a standing desk is right for you. When buying, check for adequate working space for your work materials – papers, mouse, pens and desktop supplies. If the ground you are standing on is hard, you’ll want a cushioned mat to stand on. One more tip – check that the desk is easily adjustable so you can raise and lower it without tools or assistance from someone else.

Tip #2: It is important to balance your routine with exercises that work opposing muscles. Example, don’t just do crunches for your abs, be sure to do lower back exercises. Same for your arms and legs – exercise the front and back of your legs (hamstrings and quadriceps). Strengthening muscles in tandem helps you keep your body balanced. See our article The Muscles You Should be Exercising, Upper Body and The Muscles You Should be Exercising, Core for more information about the muscle groups that work together.

Do you do the Four Exercise Types weekly? 

What exercises type is your favorite? Do you do each type weekly?

You might like to check these for the four exercise types…

Thank you for spending time with us today, we really appreciate your time. And we hope this article motivates you to become exercise. Don’t forget to contact your doctor before starting an exercise routine. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to your help. There may be certain exercises you’ll want to avoid. Print some of our exercises to discuss your new routine with your doctor. Your Doctor may have a few recommendations.

Wishing you the best of health!

Note: thank you for using our links for your Amazon purchases. Amazon pays advertising fees for purchases made with our links. This is at no charge to you and we appreciate your support. Thank you!

Author: Joan

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It's that important.

10 thoughts

        1. You are an inspiration and knowing how busy you must be with the website and workouts, I really appreciate you visiting with us and sharing that motivation. I do hope that encouragement is catchy. I know there are times when I find your energy helpful! :)

    1. Thank you Otto, I appreciate your kind words. I always thought of exercise as only strength, but try to get all four types in each week. On the days I’m feeling a bit lazy, I do our 15 flexibility exercises and they have been great. Thank you so much for visiting!!

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