To study the effects of physical exercise on biochemical risk factors for ischaemic heart disease 31 healthy middle aged men undertook regular physical exercise for two months and 29 served as controls in a randomised trial. In the men taking regular exercise serum cholesterol concentrations increased 26% more in the high density lipoprotein subfraction two (HDL2) and decreased 31% more in the subfraction three (HDL3) and 9% more in the low density lipoprotein fraction than in the control group. A tendency towards increased plasma 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha concentration and decreased serum thromboxane B2 concentration was found during the period of regular exercise, but prostaglandin E2 concentrations remained unchanged. The increase in plasma 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha concentration was associated with an increase in serum HDL2 cholesterol concentration in the group taking regular exercise. Our data suggest that mild regular physical exercise favourably influences cholesterol distribution in serum lipoproteins in healthy middle aged men and may have beneficial effects on circulating metabolites of arachidonic acid.