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Different Types of Exercise: Pros and Cons

Nov 09, 2022

Many of us know the importance and benefits of exercise. Exercise is medicine but what specific type of exercise should you be doing?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of different types of exercise. 


Aerobic/endurance exercise: 

Endurance training is when you exercise in an aerobic zone. Aerobic means “with oxygen,” or “in the presence of oxygen.” Aerobic exercise is exercise of low or moderate intensity that is done for a moderate or longer duration.

Pros: 

  • Includes a wide variety of movements and sports
    • Walking, biking, hiking, etc.. 
  • Can sustain effort for longer periods of time 
  • Carry on light conversation during
  • Easier to stick to plan because it is less intense 
  • Great for fat burning and cardiovascular health 
  • All individuals and fitness levels can complete 

Cons:

  • Can lead to joint issues if not completing strengthening activities 
  • Equipment can be expensive:
    • Treadmill, Peloton, row machines 
  • Can be boring 

 


Anaerobic/High Intensity exercise:


Any activity performed at a high enough intensity that your body can’t provide the necessary energy to complete it with oxygen intake alone is considered anaerobic. Anaerobic workouts primarily utilize fast twitch muscle fibers that can function only for a short amount of time without the help of additional inhaled oxygen.

Pros:

  • Time efficient 
  • Causes EPOC 
    • Excess Post Oxygen Consumption: extra oxygen your body demands and consumes following rigorous exercise
    • Leads to body consuming calories long after completion of exercise 
  • Plenty of room for variety with exercises 

Cons:

  • Can put individuals at high risk for injury with new exercises and activities 
  • Can be too challenging for beginners 
  • No gold standard formula 
  • High intensity can lead to lack of consistency


Resistance Training:

Resistance training is a form of exercise intended to increase muscular strength and endurance. It involves exercising muscles using some form of resistance. This resistance could be weights, bands, or even your own body weight working against gravity.
 

Pros:

  • Build muscle mass and Strength
  • Boost metabolism and reduce body fat 
  • Increase bone density 
  • Reduce risk for injury 

Cons:

  • Can lead to injuries without correct technique 
  • Often workouts require equipment
  • Need help with progressions 

 

Pilates:

Pilates is a form of exercise which concentrates on strengthening the body with an emphasis on core strength.
 

Pros:

  • Great for posture awareness and core activation 
  • Can be great for back health 
  • No or little equipment needed 
  • Can find beginner, intermediate and advanced classes 

Cons:

  • Can be the same exercises, leading to a plateau effect
  • May not lead to noticeable weight loss or strength gains
  • May need modifications to challenging exercises

 
Yoga:


Yoga is a type of exercise in which you move your body into various positions in order to become more fit or flexible, to improve your breathing, and to relax your mind.
 

Pros:

  • Improve balance, flexibility, strength 
  • Proper breathing technique 
  • Variety in class types

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to find right class to meet physical, mental and spiritual needs
  • May not lead to noticeable weight loss or strength gains
  • May need modifications to challenging exercises

 
The Bottom Line:


No one exercise is the gold standard to maximize your health and give you everything you want or need. Oftentimes, a variety of exercise types is your best bet to reach all your goals, improve your health and improve your quality of life. In my opinion, a program that you enjoy and can stay consistent with is the one you should be doing!! 
 

 

Thanks for reading! 
-Dr. Dan

 


 

 

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