Activities to Improve Health & Skill-Related Fitness

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, you're going to learn about the many activities that can improve a person's physical and mental health. Then, see how, in some cases, activities can also improve their skillset.

Exercise & Health

Think back to the last time you exercised. Did you feel better once you finished? Probably. In fact, some people love to exercise precisely because it makes them feel extremely good. Exercise gives them a sort of 'high.'

Regardless, we all know that there's little more important for our bodies than good exercise. Not only can it improve a person's physical well-being, but also their mental well-being.

On that note, there are all sorts of activities a person can engage in when seeking to improve their health. These include strenuous aerobic and strength training exercises that build skills and techniques that manage their mental health. Let's take a look at a lot of these types of activities.

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises, more commonly just called cardio, are exercises that require your heart to pump a lot of blood to working muscles, usually for a prolonged period of time. These exercises should be performed for about 30-60 minutes and for 3-5 days a week for maximum benefit.

Activities that involve aerobic exercise include simple things like walking, hiking, and running. While they are simple, they are actually great at improving muscle strength and coordination, especially if someone is running around on hilly or uneven terrain.

Other examples of activities that involve a lot of cardio include swimming, dancing, certain martial arts or cross-country skiing. Swimming is a great exercise, because unlike running, it works a ton of muscle groups without the same damaging impact on the joints. A lot of these activities are also tied into the concept of skill-related fitness. Clearly, dancing and martial arts will teach you beautiful or valuable skills while the person doing the exercise also improves their cardiovascular health.

By cardiovascular, I mean health related to their heart and blood vessels. Aerobic exercises have been shown to lower blood pressure and instances of various heart conditions, when compared to people who don't engage in such activities.

Strength Training Exercises

Strength training exercises, like lifting weights with machines or free-weights or using tension bands to build strength, are useful in improving your health as well. Lifting weights can, for example, help slow down age-related bone loss.

What's more, strength training, especially with whole body exercises, can greatly improve coordination between muscle groups. Strength training can also improve a muscle's endurance. That means you'll be able to use it for longer without getting tired.

Of course, if you're training to be the world's strongest man, you might even derive some skills from your exercises as you push and pull cars, planes, and fridges. But for most of us, including myself, we'll just take the increase in endurance, muscle health, and bone density that comes with strength training.

Activities and Mental Health

One final note in this lesson is the aspect of mental health and fitness. Various activities can not only improve our physical well-being, but also our social well-being. Team sports can foster a sense of belonging and this can be beneficial for people who are otherwise isolated.

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