• Eric B. Larson
  • Robert A. Bruce


Exercise can be considered an important component of overall health promotion. For younger adults, exercise is primarily a recreational activity. Younger adults have considerably more physiologic reserve, in both muscular strength and cardiovascular capacity. Thus, the added strength and capacity provided by the conditioning effect, which results from habitual exercise, is of relatively less benefit for health and well-being. The beneficial effects of exercise for younger persons are most likely to come from cardiovascular risk reduction. Older individuals, by contrast, experience a progressive decline in many physiologic functions, including muscular strength and cardiovascular capacity.1,2 Habitual exercise, by improving strength and maximum aerobic capacity (VO2 max) as a result of conditioning effects, can provide added physiologic reserve as well as enhance well-being by reducing effort and fatigue associated with activities of daily living.3 Most importantly, habitual exercise in moderation offers the promise of reduced disability and may prolong active life expectancy.4


Exercise Program Aerobic Capacity Muscular Strength Maximal Heart Rate Conditioning Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric B. Larson
  • Robert A. Bruce

There are no affiliations available

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