The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Surgeon General have all issued statements that recommend placing an emphasis on adopting physical activity into one's lifestyle. Their intention is to make the public more aware of the health benefits associated with increased physical activity, as well as to
highlight the amount and intensity of activity necessary to achieve optimal benefits.
There are numerous benefits associated with regular participation in an aerobic exercise program, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory functioning, reduced coronary artery disease (CAD) risk, and increased quality of life. Beneficial improvements in cardiovascular and respiratory function include an increased ability of exercising muscles to consume oxygen, lowered resting and exercise heart rates, increased stamina, resistance to fatigue, more effective management of diabetes, reduced bone-mineral loss, decreased blood pressure, and increased efficiency of the heart. Although it is recognized that specific exercises can be used for the purpose of increasing strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility, it is important to recognize that cardiovascular exercise has the most dramatic effect on the body. This is because cardiovascular exercise engages large muscle groups in an aerobic manner.
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