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Physical Activity, Barriers to

  • By: Jenna Brinks & Barry A. Franklin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Adherence to a structured exercise program provides numerous health benefits, including reductions in body weight and fat stores, blood pressure and blood glucose management, improved lipid/lipoprotein profiles, increased cardiorespiratory fitness, decreased cardiovascular risk, and enhanced psychosocial well-being. Despite these benefits, many individuals find it difficult to comply with a regular exercise program, predisposing them to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other chronic diseases and medical conditions.

CVD is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. Approximately 90% of cardiovascular events occur in individuals with ≥1 major risk factor for heart disease, whereas another 8% occur in individuals with multiple “borderline” risk factors. Physical inactivity is among the traditional risk factors that, if favorably modified, can dramatically reduce ...

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