The physiological and biochemical effects of a carefully graduated course of vigorous gymnasium training with two or three weekly exercise sessions lasting only 15 minutes have been studied in middle-aged London business men. Activity diaries and psychological questionnaires indicated that these men had a positive attitude to exercise which was probably greater than average. The gymnasium exercises caused a large oxygen debt and considerable rises in plasma catecholamines and lactate levels. A close correlation was found between the pulse rate during exercise and the Borg scale of perceived exertion, so that both could be used to ensure that short periods of exercise were sufficiently vigorous to produce a training effect, and protect against over-exertion. The acceptability of this particular exercise regime was shown by the low fall-out and injury rate. It is suggested that this exercise training programme possesses many features which are advantageous if increased physical activity is to be more widely used as a method of reducing some of the risk factors in coronary heart disease.
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