Aerobic exercise gets the heart working to pump blood through the body more quickly and with more force than normal. Breathing quickens so the lungs deliver extra oxygen to the blood. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and boosts "good" (HDL) cholesterol levels. Low-impact aerobics include walking and swimming. Running, tennis, and basketball are high impact aerobics.
Review Date: 5/21/2012
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.