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Exercise does your heart and immune system good. But there’s a limit. Over exercising may actually do a body harm. So what’s the best way to gauge the intensity of your workout? An ongoing study of Harvard men who graduated before 1950 suggests that if exercise feels hard, you’re on the right track.“Don’t get stuck in a rut,” researchers advise. “As your body adapts to exercise, you’ll need to push yourself more and more to get the same cardiovascular workout.” Another sign that it’s time to pick up the pace is when you notice your weight or waist size creeping up.

Heart disease proved less common among those who reported the vigor of their workout as “moderate or intense.” An exercise regimen that speeds up your heart and allows you to break a sweat is optimal. But beware. Avoid workouts that cause uncomfortable shortness of breath, profuse sweating in cold or mild weather, feelings of unsteadiness, or substantial fatigue or muscle pain. As in all things, temperance is best. (Harvard Heart Letter/Consumer Reports)

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life, March/April 2004. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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