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Aerobics 'has little impact'

Regular aerobic exercise has little impact on children's health and fitness, researchers at Exeter University have discovered.

The study involved three groups of nine and 10-year-old girls. One group took part in floor and step aerobics three times a week for 20- minute sessions for eight weeks; the second trained on cycle machines; the third did not train.

Results showed there was virtually no difference in fitness, nor any favourable changes in heart rate and cholesterol levels in the training groups compared with the third.

"It may be more beneficial for long-term health to promote enjoyment in activity and positive attitudes rather than attempting to enhance aerobic fitness through strenuous exercise programmes," the researchers conclude.

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