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Although many studies suggest that exercise provides various health benefits, the optimal dimensions of exercise (ie, frequency, intensity, duration, type) remain to be carefully defined. Research encompasses many areas, from activities of daily living to elite athletic performance. To properly prescribe a beneficial exercise program, a physician must have a basic understanding of the elements of exercise physiology and energy metabolism, as well as of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscu loskeletal responses to exercise and training. Also, integration of specific programs for muscle strengthening with aerobic conditioning is important to achieve optimal results in patients with musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.