[L. exercitus, trained, drilled]
A physical or mental activity performed to maintain, restore, or increase normal capacity. Physical exercise involves activities that maintain or increase muscle tone and strength, esp. to improve physical fitness or to manage a handicap or disability. SEE TABLE: Exercise: Energy Required*; SEE: physical fitness; SEE: risk factor; SEE: sedentary lifestyle
Daily physical activity for a minimum of 35 min will increase exercise capacity and the ability to use oxygen to derive energy for work, decrease myocardial oxygen demands for the same level of work, favorably alter lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, prevent cardiovascular disease, and help to control body weight and body composition. An exercise program should include developing joint flexibility and muscle strength, esp. in the trunk and limbs. This is of particular importance as people age. Exercise can have a beneficial effect in patients with depression or anxiety. It is thought to have a positive effect on balance, endurance, attitude, and outlook.

Descriptive text is not available for this imageAn exercise program should not be begun or continued if the person or the person prescribing the exercise program has evidence that the activity is painful or harmful. People have died while exercising, and heavy physical exertion may precede acute myocardial infarction, particularly in people who are habitually sedentary.
SEE: exercise prescription

Mental exercise involves activities that maintain or increase cognitive faculties. Daily intellectual stimulation improves concentration, integration, and application of concepts and principles; enhances problem-solving abilities; promotes self-esteem; facilitates self-actualization; counteracts depression associated with social isolation and boredom; and enhances the quality of life. This is particularly important during aging.
SEE: reminiscence therapy

Many of the negative aspects of aging can be changed or diminished by a lifelong healthy lifestyle. For example, the loss of physical fitness and strength, an inevitable consequence of aging, can be altered by an individualized fitness and strength program. Progressive loss of bone mass due to osteoporosis may be prevented or slowed by a program of regular exercise. Loss of cardiac fitness can be forestalled by an aerobic fitness program. Many cases of type 2 diabetes can be controlled by exercise and an appropriate diet. Arthritic stiffness and loss of flexibility can be improved by exercise such as walking and jogging. Swimming is an alternative for patients who experience joint pain with impact exercise.

Exercise stimulates release of endorphins, and people who exercise regularly have positive feelings toward living. Exercise programs can be adapted for patients confined to wheelchairs. An important consideration for any exercise program is that it be enjoyable: no matter how beneficial the program may be, if it is not enjoyable or rewarding, it will not be continued.
Recumbent bicycling
Exercise: Energy Required*

Calories Required per Hour of ExerciseActivity†
  80Sitting quietly, reading
 200Golf with use of powered cart
 250Walking 3 miles/hr (4.83 km/hr); housework; light industry; cycling 6 miles/hr (9.7 km/hr)
 330Heavy housework; walking 3.5 miles/hr (5.6 km/hr); golf, carrying own bag; tennis, doubles; ballet exercises
 400Walking 5 miles/hr (8 km/hr); cycling 10 miles/hr (16.1 km/hr); tennis, singles; water skiing
 500Manual labor; gardening; shoveling
 660Running 5.5 miles/hr (8.9 km/hr); cycling 13 miles/hr (20.9 km/hr); climbing stairs; heavy manual labor
1020Running 8 miles/hr (12.9 km/hr); climbing stairs with 30-lb (13.61-kg) load

active exercise

Bodily exercise performed by voluntary contraction and relaxation of muscles.

aerobic exercise

Exercise during which oxygen is metabolized to produce energy. Aerobic exercise is required for sustained periods of physical exertion and vigorous athletic activity.
SEE: anaerobic exercise

anaerobic exercise

High-intensity exercise, such as sprinting or weight lifting, that places more demand on muscles than oxygen delivery can match. When this occurs, glucose is metabolized for its stored energy without using oxygen as a reactant. Adenosine triphosphate is produced rapidly, as well as the byproduct, lactic acid.
SEE: aerobic exercise

aquatic exercise

Exercise in a pool or an immersion tank filled with water. Such exercises may be used to improve balance and gait, enhance physical endurance, mobilize joints, and/or strengthen or stretch muscles.
SEE: hydrotherapy

assistive exercise

A type of bodily exercise performed by voluntary muscle contractions that are augmented by an extrinsic force such as a clinician or mechanical device.

Bates exercise

SEE: Bates exercises

bodyweight resistance exercise

Any physical exercise in which people lift and lower themselves repeatedly without the use of added weight. Examples include push ups and squats.

breathing exercise

Exercise that enhances the respiratory system by improving ventilation, strengthening respiratory muscles, and increasing endurance. It is used in pulmonary rehabilitation

Buerger postural exercise

SEE: Buerger, Leo

closed chain exercise

SEE: kinetic chain exercise

Codman exercise

SEE: Codman exercise

concentric exercise

A form of isotonic exercise in which the muscle fibers shorten as tension develops.
SEE: concentric muscle contraction; SEE: eccentric muscle contraction

corrective exercise

Use of specific exercises to correct deficiencies caused by trauma, inactivity, muscular imbalances, poor flexibility, or biomechanical inadequacies.

dynamic stabilization exercise

SEE: Stabilization exercise.

eccentric exercise

Exercise in which there is overall lengthening of the muscle in response to an external resistance.
SEE: concentric muscle contraction; SEE: eccentric muscle contraction

fartlek exercise

SEE: Fartlek training.

flexibility exercise

An exercise, e.g., stretching, designed to increase joint range of motion and extensibility of muscle.

free exercise

An exercise carried through with no external assistance.

group exercise

Physical exercise (e.g., cycling, dancing, or walking) performed with peers. It benefits physical and mental health and social integration.

isokinetic exercise

An exercise with equipment that uses variable resistance to maintain a constant velocity of joint motion during muscle contraction, so that the force generated by the muscle is maximal through the full range of motion.

isometric exercise

Exercise in which a skeletal muscle or group of muscles alternately contracts and relaxes, and the force generated by the muscle or muscles is equal to the resistance. There is no change in muscle length, and no movement results.

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ISOMETRIC EXERCISE Isometric exercise of the upper extremities
SYN: SEE: muscle-setting exercise; SEE: static exercise

isotonic exercise

An exercise in which there is active muscle contraction, the force exerted remains constant, and muscle length changes.

Kegel exercise

SEE: Kegel exercise

kinetic chain exercise

A rehabilitation exercise in which a foot or hand applies pressure against a plate, a pedal, or the ground. A kinetic chain is a series of several successive joints exerting forces during motion. Kinetic chain exercises can either be open or closed. An open kinetic chain applies to unrestricted movement in space of a peripheral segment of the body. In closed kinetic chain exercises, the distal segment meets with external resistance, and remains fixed.
SYN: SEE: closed chain exercise

muscle-setting exercise

SEE: Isometric exercise.

neurobic exercise

Mental exercise consisting of brainteasers, association tasks, calculations, puzzles, and other mental and physical exercises designed to stimulate thinking, problem solving, and other cerebral functions.

open chain exercise

SEE: kinetic chain exercise

passive exercise

SEE: Passive motion.

pelvic floor exercise

SEE: Kegel exercise.

pendulum exercise

SEE: Codman exercise.

progressive resistive exercise

ABBR: PRE A form of active resistive exercise based on a principle of gradual increase in the amount of resistance in order to achieve maximum strength.

range-of-motion exercise

Movement of a joint through its available range of motion. It can be used to prevent loss of motion.

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regressive resistive exercise

ABBR: RRE A form of active resistive exercise that advocates gradual reduction in the amount of resistance as muscles fatigue.

relaxation exercise

An exercise (such as yoga, tai chi, dance, prayer, or meditation) that induces a relaxation response.

resistance exercise

Any physical exercise designed to increase strength.
SYN: SEE: resistive exercise

resistive exercise

SEE: Resistance exercise.

stabilization exercise

The application of fluctuating resistance loads while the patient stabilizes the part being trained in a symptom-free position. Exercises begin easily so that control is maintained, and progress in duration, intensity, speed, and variety.
SYN: SEE: dynamic stabilization exercise

static exercise

SEE: Isometric exercise.

stretching exercise

A therapeutic exercise maneuver, using physiological principles, designed to increase joint range of motion or extensibility of pathologically shortened connective tissue structures.

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therapeutic exercise

The use of physical activity or training as a means of improving flexibility, health, strength, or well being; fostering recovery from injury or surgery; preventing complications of injury or illness; or improving or maintaining functional performance. Therapeutic exercise interventions may include techniques to improve motion, strength, motor control, muscle and cardiopulmonary endurance, and efficiency, posture, balance, and coordination.