Aerobic exercise also helps relax blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, boost mood, and raise "good" HDL cholesterol. Combined with weight loss, it can lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, too. Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls.
Exercise tests were performed on a cycle ergometer (Lode Excalibur Sport, Groningen, The Netherlands) or on a treadmill (Ergo ELG 55; Woodway, Weil am Rhein, Germany) depending on the sport. Tests on the cycle ergometer started with an initial workload of 80 W (subjects 6 and 7) or 30 W (subjects 4 and 9), the workload was increased by 40 W every 3 min. Tests on the treadmill started at 5.4 km h−1, the speed was increased with 1.8 km h−1 each 3 min (subjects 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10). One subject performed the treadmill test with an inclination of 1% (subject 5). The duration of each test was recorded in seconds. Subjects wore a heart rate monitor (Polar Accurex Plus, Kempele, Finland) for determination of maximal heart rate (HRmax) throughout the exercise tests. After each exercise test, 20 μl of blood was drawn from the right earlobe to determine maximal blood lactate concentration ([La]max) with enzymatic analysis (EKF; Biosen 5030, Barleben, Germany).
Recruitment criteria were one or both of sedentariness and dysmetabolism. Thus, we selected subjects who were not physically active or involved in any exercise program; that is, they had a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, before entering the study, they were carefully screened for metabolic problems which attested a dysmetabolic status, as increased levels of plasma glucose, free fatty acids, triglyceride, and urate in fasting state. Both criteria were verified by means of family doctor databases of subjects.