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If you're a beginning exerciser or if you've been sedentary for a while, it's better to start off your new fitness program slowly rather than jump in with both feet

If you're a beginning exerciser or if you've been sedentary for a while, it's better to start off your new fitness program slowly rather than jump in with both feet. A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology took a look at the effects of strenuous exercise on sedentary but otherwise healthy men, focusing on the formation of blood clots, particularly in the coronary arteries, during and after moderate and strenuous exercise. While moderate exercise did not affect arterial blood clotting, strenuous exercise increased chances of clot formation by an average of 20 per cent. These findings further support the "start slowly and build gradually" recommendation of qualified fitness professionals. It's particularly important to adopt this approach if you are sedentary, with risk factors for heart disease such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol and excess body fat. And if you start slowly, you're far more likely to stick with your new program and enjoy the health benefits.

Source: Journal of Applied Physiology, 93: 829-33.

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