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Designing an Exercise Program

The activity pyramid illustrates the various elements in a health and fitness program. These daily physical activities burn calories and count toward general health benefits. However, to improve risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, an effort should be made toward incorporating continuous exercise of a moderate effort. Click on the components below for a definition of each mode of fitness and guidelines for developing a safe and appropriate program.

If you are currently inactive, even mild-to-moderate intensity activities can bring beneficial health gains. Aerobic exercise done regularly at a moderate intensity, however, is best for improving the fitness of your heart and lungs. This will help your body become more efficient at undergoing your daily physical tasks and help decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Stretching and resistance training round out a comprehensive fitness program. These are also important to help maintain or improve your agility and strength. The latter is especially important to help you decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis.