*Reduction in blood pressure
*Increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
*Decreased total cholesterol
*Decreased body fat stores
*Increased aerobic work capacity (you can work harder, easier)
*Decreased clinical symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression (it works, seriously!)
*Reduction in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (your body can handle sugars better)
*Increased heart function
*Reduction in mortality in postmyocardial infarction patients (less deaths in heart problem patients)
*Prevention of type 2 diabetes (the adult onset kind)
Taken from ACE Personal Trainer Manual, 3rd Edition, p 214
(with Donna comments in parentheses)
How to do it?
Do something to get your heart rate up (use large muscles) for 30-40 minutes, at least 3 times a week. Start off slowly and work up to harder workouts.
Cool down for 5-10 minutes. Examples are running, jogging, walking, swimming, aerobics, stair climbing, etc.
Don't have 30-40 minutes? Do bursts of 5-10 minutes a few times during the day. It can have the same training effect on your heart!