In modern society, combatting cardiovascular and metabolic diseases has been highlighted
as an urgent global challenge. In recent decades, the scientific literature has identified that behavioral
variables (e.g. smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity) are related to the development of these
outcomes and, therefore, preventive actions should focus on the promotion of physical exercise practice
and a healthy diet, as well as combatting the smoking habit from an early age. The promotion of physical exercise in
the general population has been suggested as a relevant goal by significant health organizations around the world. On the
other hand, recent literature has indicated that physical exercise performed in early life prevents the development of diabetes
mellitus, dyslipidemia and arterial hypertension during adulthood, although this protective effect seems to be independent
of the physical activity performed during adulthood. Apparently, the interaction between physical exercise and
human growth in early life constitutes an issue which is not completely understood by sports medicine. The aim of the
present review was therefore to discuss recent evidence on the effects of physical exercise performed during childhood
and adolescence on cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes in adulthood.
Keywords: Inflammation, diabetes mellitus, physical activity, epidemiology, adolescents, genetics.
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