Aerobic exercise: Top 10 reasons to get physical

Regardless of age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic exercise is good for you. See why — then prepare yourself to get moving.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Regular aerobic activity such as walking, bicycling or swimming can help you live longer and healthier. Need motivation? See how aerobic exercise affects your heart, lungs and blood flow. Then get moving and start reaping the rewards.

How your body responds to aerobic exercise

During aerobic activity, you repeatedly move large muscles in your arms, legs and hips. You'll notice your body's responses quickly.

You'll breathe faster and more deeply. This maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood. Your heart will beat faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.

Your small blood vessels (capillaries) will widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

Your body will even release endorphins, natural painkillers that promote an increased sense of well-being.

Mar. 04, 2014 See more In-depth

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