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  1. Definitions
  2. Epidemiology
  3. Health benefits of physical sctivity
  4. Coronary heart disease
  5. Weight control
  6. Diabetes
  7. Osteoporosis
  8. Health risks
  9. Medical evaluation
  10. Assessment and counseling
  11. Recommendations
  12. Bibliography

Regular physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. In the 1980s and 1990s, a large body of epidemiologic and clinical evidence linked regular physical activity with a variety of health benefits. Although the strength of the data supporting these associations varies from condition to condition, physical inactivity is clearly a major contributor to premature mortality and morbidity from chronic disease.

[...] CANCER Regular physical activity and physical fitness have been associated with lower mortality from cancer in longitudinal studies. Although data for most specific cancers are limited, studies of occupational and leisure time activity indicate that physical activity is protective against colon cancer. The evidence is strongly suggestive of a reduced risk of breast cancer in regularly active women, but this relationship is complicated and may be modified by age, body weight, and patterns of activity over the lifespan. The protective effects may be mediated by reduced intestinal transit time (colon cancer) and altered endocrine function. [...]

[...] Physical activity also may exacerbate medical conditions such as asthma, and irregular exercise may make insulin dosing more challenging in diabetic patients. Nevertheless, most individuals with underlying disease or disability still may exercise safely if appropriate precautions are taken. Medical Evaluation Appropriate medical evaluation depends on the individual's age and health status and the type of activity undertaken. Individuals who are free of disease and who are initiating moderate-intensity physical activity, such as regular walking, do not require medical evaluation. [...]

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