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Improper warm up can lead to muscle strains. Overexertion with not enough time between exercise sessions to recuperate can also lead to muscle strains, resulting in inactivity due to pain. Stress fractures are also a possibility if activities are strenuous over long periods of time without proper rest. Although exercise is safe for the majority of children and adults, there is still a need for further studies to identify potential risks.

Significant health benefits are obtained by including a moderate amount of physical exercise in the form of an exercise prescription. This is much like a drug prescription in that it also helps enhance the health of those who take it in the proper dosage. Physical activity plays a positive role in preventing disease and improving overall health status. People of all ages, both male and female, benefit from regular physical activity. Regular exercise also provides significant psychological benefits and improves quality of life.

There is a possibility of exercise burnout if the exercise program is not varied and adequate rest periods are not taken between exercise sessions. Muscle, joint, and cardiac disorders have been noted with people who exercise, however, they often have had preexisting and underlying illnesses.



McArdie, William D., Frank I. Katch, and Victor L. Katch. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1991.

Torg, Joseph S., Joseph J. Vegso, and Elisabeth Torg. Rehabiliation of Athletic Injuries: An Atlas of Therapeutic Exercise. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc., 1987.


Colan, Bernard J. "Exercise for Those Who Are Overweight: Just the Start in Fitness Plan." Advance For Physical Therapy 8, no. 25 (June 1997).

Jeffrey Peter Larson


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—Exercise training that is geared to provide a sufficient cardiovascular overload to stimulate increases in cardiac output.


—Exercise involving free movement without the aid of equipment.


—The time limit of a person's ability to maintain either a specific force or power involving muscular contractions.


—A disorder characterized by loss of calcium in the bone, leading to thinning of the bones. It occurs most frequently in postmenopausal women.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Evolution to FerrocyanideExercise - Precautions, Risks - Description, Preparation, Aftercare