Regular exercise can help control your blood cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. It can also help to control diabetes and reduce risk of stroke. Exercise is a major factor in battling obesity as well.

Moderate activities such as walking for 30 minutes (three or four days a week) can help your heart. If you've been inactive, you can start with 10 minutes and then work up to more.

For most healthy folks, the American Heart Association recommends 30-60 minutes of vigorous physical activity three or four times per week, which will condition the heart and lungs. These activities can include aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, running, rowing, spinning, swimming and sports like tennis, basketball, racquetball and soccer. Be sure to get your doctor's advice before you start a vigorous exercise program, especially if you're middle-aged or older, or if you have heart disease or another medical problem and have been inactive for a long time.