Healthy Lifestyle

Different Types of Exercise

There are 4 types of physical activities, and they have different effects on our body.


Any activity that

  • involves the use of large muscle groups (e.g. arms, legs and hips); and 
  • is rhythmical or repetitive in nature (e.g. the up and down motion of the legs while walking); and 
  • is sustainable (≥ 10 minutes). 

Benefits such as

  • Minimal skills required such that anybody can do it
  • Enhance cardiopulmonary function and promote the health of the circulatory system
  • Improve endurance
  • Help with weight control
  • Delay onset or prevent common diseases, e.g. heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, colon and breast cancer, dementia, fall, etc.
  • Help enhance mood and improve sleep quality

Common example

Type of activity/Intensity level

Light Intensity

Moderate Intensity*

Vigorous Intensity*


Walking slowly at home


Taking a walk in the park

Brisk walking

Stair climbing



Housework or paid work

Sitting (e.g, using computer)

Standing (e.g, cooking or washing dishes, ironing clothes)

Sweeping the floor Vacuuming

Cleaning windows or cars

General gardening work (e.g, grass cutting)

Carrying a baby

Gardening work (Shoveling and hoeing)

Carrying heavy loads (e.g. 5kg of packing rice) and walking up- or downstairs

Recreation and sport


Making arts and crafts,

Playing music instruments

Aqua-aerobics (e.g. walking, stretching exercise in water)

Catch and throw sports (e.g. Badminton, table tennis)

Tai Chi  



Ball games (e.g. footballs, basketballs, exercise bikes)


When performing exercise at moderate intensity, a person has a feeling of increased rate of breathing, still able to talk but not sing.

When performing exercise at vigorous intensity, a person has a feeling of rapid breathing and heart rate, must pause for a breath when speaking a short sentence.


Any activity that

  • Involves the major muscle groups (e.g. the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, arms)
  • Works in a moderate to high level of intensity

Benefits such as

  • Improve muscle strength
  • Improve body balance and lowers risk of falling
  • Help you maintain independency and perform everyday activities more easily, e.g. getting up from a chair, climbing stairs and carrying groceries

Examples of muscle-strengthening activities include:

  • Weightlifting (small dumbbells or bottles filled with water)
  • Wall push-ups or kneel push-ups
  • Using resistance bands
  • Carrying heavy loads
    • Squat exercise (It is recommended to be carried out under the guidance of the coach
      or with protective measures to ensure safety).


Any activity that

    • Any activity that trains your balance.

Benefits such as

    • Improves motor coordination, body balance, and agility; helps prevent falls and injuries for older adults.

Examples of balance activities include:


single foot balance, heel-to-toe walk, toe stand (with the help of a walking aid or a stable chair)


Tai chi (a “moving meditation”), Standing from a seated position, Tightrope walk, Back and side leg raise (with the help of a walking aid or a stable chair), Dancing, Bowling


Any activity that

    • Any activity that involves stretching muscles.

Benefits such as

    • Improve flexibility and allows greater movement in joints; Makes it easier for you to bend over and tie your shoelaces
    • Improve posture, relieves joint and calf stretching pain and releases muscle tension and soreness

Examples of flexibility activities include:

    • Tai chi, yoga, calf stretching, neck stretching, and toe touching