Essentially, cardiovascular endurance is how good your cardiovascular and respiratory systems involving the heart, blood vessels and lungs, can work together whilst under stress to keep you going. Your cardiovascular ability is based upon three factors:
- Heart Rate: how many times your heart beats per minute
- Heart Contractility: how forceful each beat of your muscle is
- Stroke volume: how much blood is pumped per heartbeat
Improving your cardiovascular endurance is a great way to become healthier by lowering your heart rate, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and decreasing your chance of obesity. As well as this, you will become more capable in activities that involve movements such as swimming, running, jogging and rowing.
One of the best and most accessible ways to improve your cardiovascular endurance is through running and walking. If you’re new to the activity then start by doing intervals of fast walking and jogging. Slowly decrease the time you spend walking until you can run for a full 20 minutes. From here, you can start attempting 5k races and working your way up to more challenging feats. It is recommended to train 3 times a week for a total of 30 minutes per session, which includes a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.
Another, more exciting form of cardiovascular/aerobic exercise is dance. Most people like to dance on the weekends but some do not realize that it’s actually an extremely effective form of exercise. There will most likely be a host of different music-incorporated classes at your local gym or fitness club so make sure to take a look. The classes will range from 30-60 minutes on average and be based off a variety of dance styles and music genres such as samba, hip hop and pop.
If you have issues with the joints in your lower body, impact activities like dance and running will not be the best. Instead, cycling is a good way around this. Cycling doesn’t stress the joints as much as the former activities but still trains your cardiovascular system to the same extent. It can also help you build muscle. If you don’t have access to a bike, don’t worry. There will be plenty of stationary bikes at your local gym as well as spinning classes which will challenge you further. Spinning classes come in a variety of difficulties so make sure to pick the one that suits you best.
Swimming is similar to cycling in that it is a stress-free form of activity for the joints but differs in that it trains the entire body opposed to just the legs. Different strokes train different areas of the body so shake up your technique to receive a different stimulus.
The best approach to training your cardiovascular system is to recruit a variety of these activities each week. They all help you in different ways so doing this means that you’ll receive a wide range of benefits. Aim to get in 3 sessions a week so as not to overload the body but receive the maximum amount of advantages.
What is your favorite cardio exercise? Please use the comment section below.