1. Aerobic exercise
In terms of both weight loss and increasing fitness, this is definitely the best type of exercise to take. Aerobic exercise refers to activities that raise your heart rate, make you breathe harder and sweat a little. This type of exercise tends to use the larger muscles such as the legs and arms, and it is rhythmic and continuous in nature.
Examples: fast walking, jogging, skipping, swimming, cycling, dancing, rowing, badminton, tennis, step-aerobics.
2. Resistance Exercise
Resistance exercise is chiefly concerned with improving the strength and tone of your muscles. However, it can also help you lose weight. Increasing the amount of muscle in your body will boost your metabolic rate. This means that you will burn a fair amount of calories even when you aren’t exercising (and even when you sleep). Ideally, you should aim to do resistance exercises twice a week.
Examples: Lifting free weights, weights machine, callisthenics (e.g. push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups), carrying shopping.
3. Flexibility and Stretching Exercise
This type of exercise is much gentler. It concentrates on stretching your muscles and improving joint flexibility. It is relatively ineffective with regard to weight loss; but it will improve posture and freedom of movement. It is also good as a warm up if you want to avoid injury before doing more strenuous activities. Ideally, you should try to do some form of stretching exercise on 3-7 days per week, and many of these can quite easily be done in front of the television or whilst relaxing.
Examples: Yoga, Tai-Chi, Pilates, stretching exercises.
A combination of all three types of exercise is ideal, but the most important for controlling your weight is definitely aerobic exercise.