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The Advantages & Disadvantages of Physical Exercise

The key to physical exercise is understanding your physical condition and finding exercises that are appropriate for your current state of health. If new to exercising, start out at a slow pace for only five minutes daily to get your body accustomed to moving. Not all exercises will be appropriate for your individual situation, so consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Mastering Proper Form

Form involves performing an exercise a certain way in order to gain maximum results while minimizing risks of injury. Proper form is a definite advantage of physical exercise and plays an integral role in all exercise regimes, even when returning weights to the weight rack. If maintaining proper form provides too much of a hindrance, reduce the amount of weight you lift or lower your repetitions. Improper form is a disadvantage of physical exercise and is one of the most common reasons for injuries and poor progress.

Time Consuming

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If you have a busy schedule and are constantly cramped for time, you might consider the time it takes to get an effective workout a disadvantage of exercise. In order to achieve the highest level of health benefits, you must treat exercise as a scheduled daily event. The Center for Disease Control recommends doing 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week and including strength-training exercises for the major muscle groups in your shoulders, arms, abdomen, back, hips, chest and legs at least twice weekly. Splitting your cardio into three sessions over the day might be more convenient during busy times.

Correct Intensity Level

The intensity level you work out at can be either an advantage or disadvantage of physical exercise. When done correctly, your intensity level will keep your heart rate within your target rate for a prolonged period of time and allow you to get the most out of your workout, increasing overall efficiency. Staying within a vigorous or moderately-brisk intensity level provides the best health benefits. Exercising at too high an intensity level will be a disadvantage of physical exercise since overexertion may lead to nausea, dizziness, burnout, pain or injury.

Lower Health Risks

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One advantage of physical exercise is that moving your body more reduces your risks of developing a number of health ailments. According to the CDC, becoming physically active improves mental health functioning and lowers depression levels by releasing endorphins -- a brain chemical that provides a feeling of happiness and content. It also helps control your weight, lower your blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, strengthen your bones and reduce your chances of developing diabetes and some forms of cancer.