We explain what physical exercise is, how it is classified, its intensity and duration. Also, what are its benefits, contraindications, and more?

What is physical exercise?

Physical exercise is any activity that improves or helps to maintain a good state of shape and that uses the skeletal muscles to be carried out.

During this activity the body expends much more energy than it would use while resting , so it is an effective way to fight against excess weight.

Physical exercise can be done in infinite ways and in practically any place , since it only requires a more intense use of our muscles than usual.

They are known many benefits of physical activity and therefore recommended for virtually everyone. Some common examples are running, swimming, biking, or lifting weights.

Classification of physical exercise

Classification of physical exercise

Physical exercise can be basically classified as aerobic or anaerobic:

  • The aerobic exercise . It normally involves the large muscle groups of the body, with activities of moderate intensity and of a high duration.
  • Anaerobic exercise. It is based on training the strength and resistance of the muscles, and they are usually more intense and shorter activities.

Intensity of physical exercise

The intensity of a physical exercise can be measured in relation to the heart rate that it induces in our body. It is normally expressed as a percentage of the maximum heart rate that our body could support, a value that depends on age.

An intense exercise would be the one that makes us be close to that maximum heart rate, while an exercise of moderate intensity would place us at a heart rate of between 50% and 60% of that maximum heart rate.

Duration of physical exercise

The duration of physical exercise will depend on the type of training  and the established objectives . It is always recommended that a minimum of 30 minutes be invested per training session . If you do a high intensity activity, the duration will be shorter than if you do a low intensity activity.

Frequency of physical exercise

Frequency of physical exercise

It is recommended to do physical exercise approximately three times a week . It is important to allow at least one day of rest between training sessions, as the body needs to recover and the muscle needs time to rest to repair and grow. Only people who are in very good physical condition can afford to exercise very often.

Benefits of physical exercise

Benefits of physical exercise

Physical exercise has positive effects on the body and mind . It serves to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, it can help us fight against excess weight and cardiovascular problems, it releases endorphins that make us feel better, and it also has positive effects on the brain and various cognitive functions.

Contraindications of physical exercise

Although in general it is advisable to do physical exercise, there are situations in which it is not indicated. If it is done a few hours after going to sleep, we will probably have problems falling asleep , since exciting hormones will circulate in our body.

People who are very out of shape or overweight should not exercise too vigorously. Also, if you exercise too much or perform it incorrectly, injuries are likely to appear .

Physical exercise nutrition

Physical exercise nutrition

Nutrition is closely linked to physical exercise since a large number of nutrients are used during exercise , and poor nutrition can have negative consequences:

The carbohydrates are the main source of glucose for the body, so it is recommended to eat a meal rich in carbohydrates within the first hour after finishing physical exercises. The proteins will also be very important when you need to repair muscle tissue (especially after workouts strength and endurance).

Also important is hydration and the replacement of mineral salts that may have been lost when sweating during exercise.

Importance of respiration

The breath is a very important part of physical training. During the exercises, you should control your breathing , introduce the air through the nose and expel it through the mouth. The rhythm of respiration must be constant, and the moments of inspiration and expiration must be coordinated with the physical exercise itself.

Improvements acquired with physical exercise

Improvements acquired with physical exercise

Thanks to physical training, various body capacities can be improved: speed in the execution of exercises, increased strength and muscle mass, increased resistance or ability to perform work for a long period of time, flexibility of our joints and coordination of movements.

Physical exercise trend

Despite the fact that doing physical exercise is relatively fashionable, people's habits are increasingly directed towards a sedentary lifestyle. The jobs increasingly require less physical effort and technology has largely replaced certain jobs that had greater mobility. That is why a good awareness of the benefits of physical exercise is more necessary than ever.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Passionate about understanding and contributing to a world that does not stop changing. New forms of Work, Sustainability and Technology. For many years he has worked as a creative for large international companies. He has a Ph.D. in information technology and he has been doing quantitative research in the interdisciplinary areas of information systems, cyber security, data analytics and artificial intelligence. He continue to look for creative solutions through technology to help companies to be more humane and sustainable..

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