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Physical Activity and Health - A Report of the Surgeon General
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Nutrition and Physical Activity


Chapter 3 Conclusion

Physiologic Responses and Long-Term Adaptations to Exercise

  1. Physical activity has numerous beneficial physiologic effects. Most widely appreciated are its effects on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, but benefits on the functioning of metabolic, endocrine, and immune systems are also considerable.
  2. Many of the beneficial effects of exercise training - from both endurance and resistance activities - diminish within 2 weeks if physical activity is substantially reduced, and effects disappear within 2 to 8 months if physical activity is not resumed.
  3. People of all ages, both male and female, undergo beneficial physiologic adaptations to physical activity.


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Historical Document: November 17, 1999

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity