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Aerobic exercise has a favorable effect on your lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Sophisticated research has shown that this exercise-induced increase in high-density lipoproteins boosts metabolism, which in turn results in significant weight loss. According to the American Heart Association, increases in these high-density lipoproteins have been found in women who exercise at higher levels of recreational running. This is one of the important health benefits of running.
Cardiovascular fitness can also alter your body composition. By reducing body fat, you will also reduce your susceptibility to cardiovascular, disease, diabetes, cancer and muscular/skeletal disease. Even milder forms of exercise can boost metabolism.
If you have ever spent any time in Italy, you will note that while there is an abundance of heavy, delicious food, in the major Italian cities, you will rarely see people who are significantly overweight. This is due to the Italian tradition of passegiata, which involves taking a walk to digest the evening meal.