Types of Exercise and Elements of a Good Exercise Plan. Hutton Health

Types of Exercise and Elements of a Good Exercise Plan

5th April 2023

(This post may contain referral links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Table of contents:

  1. Types of exercise and elements of fitness
  2. Elements of a good fitness plan


What do you associate with exercise and a ‘workout’? For some, this is a run, for others, they think of a gym workout and for others, a sweat inducing bootcamp in the park.

There is no one single type of fitness that is the magic recipe for ultimate fitness and health. A good fitness plan involves different types of exercise and different elements of fitness.

Regardless of your age and fitness level, incorporating a balance of these 4 elements of fitness will help you be fit and healthy.

4 main types of exercise and elements of fitness

4 main types of exercise and elements of fitness:

1. Cardio

Cardiovascular training raises your heart rate and increases your breathing rate. Any type of activity that gets you breathing heavy challenges your heart and lungs and can be considered cardio.

Cardio is a great form of exercise as it can be done anytime, anywhere, without any special equipment or space. Cardio can be as simple as putting on a pair of running shoes and heading out the door for a walk.

Sportshoes offers a huge range of discounted footwear and activewear to help you find shoes that help keep you moving pain and injury free.


Benefits of cardio:

  • Improves the function of your heart

          As the functioning of your heart improves, it will lower your resting heart rate which                puts less pressure put on your heart

  • Improves the functioning of your circulatory system

          This improves the circulation around your body.

  • Removes waste products from your system
  • Improves body’s immune system
  • Enhances brain health
  • Increases metabolic rate
  • Improves mood and energy
  • Can be adapted for any health condition and fitness level
  • Can be done anytime, anywhere

Examples of cardio exercise include running, walking, stair climbing, dancing, swimming, HIIT (high intensity interval training)

Cardio Training

2. Strength Training

We use strength throughout our day, even when we aren’t aware of it. Strength is required to carry bags of shopping, to climb stairs, when we are gardening, to pick up small children, and many other regular daily tasks.

Strength training is an essential part of any exercise programme.

Muscles strengthen as we move them against a resistance. Resistance workouts enhance strength and stability as we age.

Benefits of strength training:

  • Builds muscle
  • Improves your strength
  • Increase your bone density and the strength of your bones
  • Help you lose weight and increase your metabolism
  • Help you perform everyday tasks more efficiently and pain free
  • Can help reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, depression and heart disease




Consider investing in a pair of dumbbells and resistance bands to allow you to increase the resistance and your strength increases.


You do not need to have a gym membership or attend a group fitness class to improve your strength. With limited equipment, you can effectively include strength training in your exercise programme to improve your fitness and increase your strength at home.


Hutton Health offers a structured programme and online workouts that allow you to strength train from the comfort of your home with the guidance of an experienced coach.

Strength training, types of strength training

Types of strength training: 

Body weight strength training exercises

Body Weight –

Strength training that uses your own body weight and the force of gravity to perform specific movements.

Examples of body weight exercises:

· Push ups/Press ups

· Squats

· Planks

· Lunges

· Abdominal Crunches

free weights and strength training

Free Weights

Increasing fitness with free weights involves strength training using equipment that is not fixed to the floor or a machine

Examples of free weights:

· Dumbbells

· Barbells

· Kettlebells

· Medicine Balls

· Objects around the house (filled water bottles, tinned food)

Decathlon offers a huge range of affordable equipment for home workouts!

strength training with resistance bands

Resistance Bands           

Resistance bands are stretchy bands that provide resistance when they are stretched

               Check out these great resistance bands!


3. Flexibility

Flexibility is defined as ‘The quality of bending without breaking’. Working on our flexibility is an important element of exercise, particularly as we age.

The flexibility of a joint is its range of motion and is controlled by muscles, ligaments and tendons. As your flexibility increases, your range of motion improves.

As you age, muscles, ligaments and tendons become tighter. If muscles are not used often and/or flexibility is not a regular part of your exercise programme, muscles can become less flexible.

Muscles shorten when they are held in the same shortened position for extended periods of time. An example of this is your hip flexor shortening if you spend large amounts of time sitting at your desk during the day.

               Benefits of flexibility training:

  • Injury prevention

          Inflexibility can often lead to injury due to your tightened muscles

  • Improved posture
  • Increases strength

          Muscles are able to move through the full range of motion

  • Feel more relaxed

Ways to increase your flexibility include strength training through your full range of motion and stretching.

Types of exercise, flexibility

4. Rest and recovery

Rest and recovery does not just refer to the amount of sleep that you get.


Rest and recovery in an exercise programme also involves low intensity exercise activities. During recovery exercise, you should be able to comfortably carry out a conversation as you are not straining to exercise as this level.

Muscles need time to repair and rebuild to grow stronger.

rest and recovery

Elements of a good exercise plan

The most important aspects of any good health and fitness plan include the following:

  • An exercise plan that includes exercise that you enjoy
  • Exercise that makes your body and mind feel good
  • Exercise that you can fit into your schedule
  • Exercise that appropriately challenges you
  • Exercise that works for your individual body
  • Exercise that you can incorporate consistently into your schedule
  • Exercise that is rewarding

Exercise is important for our mental and physical health. Commit to incorporating purposeful movement into your day to help reach your optimal health and wellbeing.

Elements of a good exercise plan

Many people feel like they should KNOW WHAT TO DO to make positive lifestyle changes and to increase their health and fitness. Asking for help is not a weakness, it can be the KEY to helping kickstart your action. 

Hutton Health strives to bring fitness, nutrition and mindset together to get optimal results for people’s health and wellness from the comfort of their own home. Our mission is to remove barriers to starting a health and fitness journey through flexible online coaching that fits in to each person’s schedule. 

Commit to YOU and your journey to be the best version of YOU for life!

Hutton Health live workout timetable

You may also be interested in: