The American Heart Assn. has ranked lack of exercise--along with smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure--as a major risk factor for heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
Regular exercise has been linked to lower stress levels, decreased incidence of heart disease, increased concentration and overall longevity.
As most physical fitness experts will attest, the best benefits still are derived from the traditional aerobic workout--20 to 30 minutes, three to five times a week. But for the estimated 90% of Americans who get little or no regular exercise, even desk exercises are a good place to start.