A complete fitness and exercise program should incorporate three basic components: Endurance (Aerobic), Flexibility, and Strength. Each of these components has specific guidelines, which govern their effectiveness.
Aerobic Exercise (Endurance)
Often called cardio or endurance activities, aerobic activities are great for burning calories and paring down unwanted fat. They consist of activities that make the heart and lungs work harder:
think of walking, biking, running, and swimming, for example.
Aerobic exercise temporarily boosts your heart rate and breathing, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles and tuning up cardiovascular endurance. These are the activities that are associated with a lower risk for many diseases and a longer life span.
Flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga gently reverse the shortening and tightening of muscles that typically occur with disuse and age. Shorter, stiffer muscle fibers may make you vulnerable to injuries and contribute to back pain and balance problems.
Frequently performing exercises that isolate and stretch elastic fibers surrounding muscles and tendons helps counteract this.
A well-stretched muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance—imagine an easier, less restricted golf swing or tennis serve—and functional abilities, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks.
Stretching can also be a great way to get you moving in the morning or a way to relax after a long day. Activities such as yoga combine stretching and relaxation and also improve balance, a wonderful combination.
However, note that experts no longer recommend stretching before exercise. Prolonged stretching impedes the maximum contractile force of muscles.
For Example: Stretching prior to jumping decreases jump height. Instead, experts now recommend starting off your exercise with a warm-up, such as an easy walk, or a sport-specific routine such as serving some tennis balls and practicing ground strokes before a match.
This increases the movement of blood and oxygen to the muscles. Then, when muscles are warm and pliable—for example, after five to 10 minutes of exercise—you can stretch. Or, even better, do your flexibility exercises as your post-workout cool-down.
What should be included in a complete workout?
My guess is that the question is aimed at getting the answer – warmup and warm down.