BACKGROUND: The influence of different types of exercise on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases has rarely been investigated. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of adding resistance exercise to aerobic activities on lipid-lipoprotein profile, in a representative sample of men and women from the province of Attica, Greece. METHODS: We randomly enrolled 1514 and 1528 healthy men and women, respectively, stratified by city, age and gender distribution. Participants were classified as inactive (INA), sufficiently active (SA) and highly active for either aerobic activities (HAA) alone or a combination of aerobic plus resistance exercise (HAC). The main outcome measures are lipid-lipoprotein profile [total, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein-A1, apolipoprotein-B] and anthropometric indices. RESULTS: From those participating in aerobic activities, 480 (31.7%) men and 502 (32.9%) women were classified as SA, 100 men (6.6%) and 93 women (6.1%) as HAA and 90 men (5.9%) and 49 women (3.2%) as HAC. After various adjustments were made, men from the HAC group had an average of 23% lower plasma triacylglycerol concentration (P = 0.04) and 10% lower LDL-cholesterol (P = 0.01) when compared with the HAA group. Moreover, women from the HAC group had 13% lower LDL-cholesterol when compared with HAA group (P = 0.051). CONCLUSION: These data suggest that combining aerobic and resistance-type activities may confer a better effect on lipoprotein profile in healthy individuals than aerobic activities alone.