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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

Volume 1, Issue 6, December 2016, Pages 499-505.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/1559827607306432. Copyright © SAGE Publications


In adults, physical activity and exercise training are associated with reduced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, a reduced likelihood of developing adverse cardiovascular risk factors, and improved insulin sensitivity. In childhood, participation in appropriate physical activity may prevent the development of cardiovascular risk factors in the future and complement treatment of existing cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, dyslipidemia, and overweight. Exercise in children can also significantly improve insulin sensitivity independent of weight loss. These e fects are mediated in overweight children by increases in lean body mass relative to fat mass and associated improvements in inflammatory mediators, endothelial function, and the associated adverse hormonal milieu.