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I heard that exercising makes you stronger but not skinnier. Is that true?

Dear Dr. Cory:

I heard that exercising makes you stronger but not skinnier. Is that true?

Dear Erica:

Yes, that is true. Exercise makes your muscles stronger and larger. And although it won,t make you skinnier, regular exercise does improve your body shape because it tones your muscles and decreases your body fat.

When your muscles are strong, they give better support to your knees and other joints. Exercise also helps muscles and joints to be more flexible and move smoothly. And flexible muscles and joints have less injury. If you want to increase the strength of certain muscles, you can do exercises that work on just those muscles.

The best exercises make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Because your heart is a muscle, exercise will help it (and your lungs) become stronger, too. Regular exercise increases the ability of the muscles to take oxygen from the blood. This helps to keep you from getting tired. So regular exercise will help you to exercise longer.

Children five to twelve years of age need to exercise twenty to thirty minutes without stopping, at least four times a week. Increase your exercise a little at a time. You don't want to overdo it and pull a muscle. Be sure to do warm-up stretches before exercising and cool-down stretches after exercising. Stretching may also help to increase the strength of your muscles.
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Title Annotation:Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Children's Playmate
Date:Apr 1, 1997
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