These risk factors can contribute to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association:
*Diabetes: People at their ideal weight are less likely to develop diabetes. Physical activity may also decrease insulin requirements for people with diabetes.
*Obesity and extra weight: Regular physical activity can help people lose excess fat or stay at a reasonable weight.
*High levels of triglycerides: Physical activity helps reduce triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are linked to developing coronary artery disease in some people.
*Low levels of HDL: Low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men; less than 50 mg/dL for women) have been linked to a higher risk of coronary artery disease. Recent studies show that regular physical activity can significantly increase HDL cholesterol levels and thus reduce your risk.