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.
Gidding, Samuel S., "Special Article: Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Childhood" (2007). Department of Pediatrics Faculty Papers. Paper 66.