How to Improve Cardiorespiratory Endurance – Introduction
Improve your cardiorespiratory endurance and reduce your risk of death.
It’s as simple as that.
Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the US.¹
For men over the age of 45 or women over 55, heart disease is the leading cause of death.
However, those with higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness have a lower risk of all-cause death and coronary heart disease. ²
The lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for heart disease.
The minimum of physical activity that you need is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five times a week. ³
If you are like many people in the US, you are not getting much physical activity.
Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day; only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
Is there a correlation between a lack of physical activity and heart disease?
This article reveals 7 training principles to help you improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
Cardiorespiratory Endurance Definition
What is the definition of cardiorespiratory endurance?
Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs, and muscles to work together to sustain physical activity for an extended period of time.
It is also known as aerobic fitness and is a key component of overall fitness and health.
This type of endurance is important for activities that require sustained effort, such as swimming, cycling, or running.
Cardiorespiratory endurance is measured by the maximum amount of oxygen that the body can utilize during exercise, which is commonly referred to as VO2 max.
A higher VO2 max indicates better cardiorespiratory endurance and the ability to sustain physical activity for longer periods of time.
Improving cardiorespiratory endurance can have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
It can also improve overall physical performance and quality of life.
To improve cardiorespiratory endurance, it is important to engage in regular aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, or swimming.
This type of exercise should be performed at a moderate to high intensity for at least 30 minutes per session, several times per week.
As your fitness improves, the duration and intensity of the exercise can be gradually increased.
By engaging in regular aerobic exercise and gradually increasing the intensity and duration, you can improve your cardiorespiratory endurance and enjoy the many health benefits that come with it.
And Why is this Great News?
Because physical activity is something you can control.
You cannot control your age, or your family’s genetics.
But, you can get up off the lazy boy and start walking.
“There is irrefutable evidence that regular physical activity prevents heart disease.
And, not only heart disease, but even diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression, osteoporosis and premature death.
A high fitness level reduces your risk of premature death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease. 4
This is particularly true for men and women who show no symptoms of heart disease.
People who have the highest levels of physical activity and aerobic fitness are at lowest risk of premature death.”
Clearly, exercise is medicine.
How to Improve Cardiorespiratory Endurance
There are five major components of fitness:
- Body composition
- Muscular strength
- Muscular endurance
- Cardiovascular fitness
Even if you are a weightlifter, you might discover that your cardiorespiratory fitness is not optimal for your age.
Here is how you can design an effective cardiorespiratory endurance program.
7 Training Principles to Increase Cardiorespiratory Endurance
#1. The Overload Principle
The overload principle says that in order to increase your cardiovascular fitness, you must challenge yourself.
We know that few adults get 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
If this is true for you, all you have to do then is start walking at least 30 minutes a day.
Challenge yourself to get fitter.
Give your heart the exercise that it needs.
Your heart is there for you every single second of your lifetime.
Pumping about 5 quarts of blood through your body every minute.
Make your heart stronger, starting today.
Your body will change, get fitter when you increase the load.
So, if you are a couch potato, start walking.
If you walk the treadmill slowly, start jogging and/or running.
Be specific with the type of aerobic activity that you want to improve.
If you want to be a better runner, run.
To be a better walker, walk.
If you want to swim better, swim.
The more you participate in your activity of choice, the better you will get.
Your body will adapt to the specific load that you impose.
This is known as S.A.I.D or Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.
You can improve your cardiorespiratory endurance much faster than you think.
Even after the age of 50.
Just because you hit 50, or even 60, don’t think that you cannot improve your fitness.
You can never stop improving.
Whatever your fitness level is now, your body will stay there.
If you are a couch potato, so will you remain.
Unfortunately, your fitness will not improve by sitting.
If you can run 4.5 miles an hour for 20 minutes, so you will remain.
Unless you push yourself to run faster.
Accommodation is the principle of progression.
You must build progression into your training regimen.
Use it or lose it.
If you train today, you do not keep the benefits permanently.
Unless you train again.
To maintain your cardiorespiratory endurance, the rule of thumb is 48 hours.
This means that your cardiorespiratory benefits will last about 48 hours.
After a couple of days, your fitness level can begin to taper off.
After decades, well, just look at people who have not worked out for decades.
But, do not be discouraged.
If you have ignored training for decades, you can still get into great shape.
You will be surprised at how fast your body will respond.
In fact, just after 12 weeks, you can make spectacular improvements.
#6. Individual differences
We are all different, including our muscles and skeletal structure.
This means that you cannot expect the same results as an Olympic athlete.
Do not compare yourself to others.
First, take the cardiorespiratory endurance assessments and find your baseline.
Then, get fitter in comparison to your own baseline.
This is how to improve your health and fitness, to the best level possible, for you.
#7. Rest Principle
You have to rest, your body needs sleep.
During sleep, your body will rest, repair and build tissue.
Therefore, you must shoot for 8 hours of sleep every night.
If you are over the age of 20, you need at least 7 hours of sleep.
Even 9 or 10 hours of sleep is appropriate for an adult.
So, how can you increase your cardiorespiratory endurance?
The answer is to design a cardiorespiratory endurance program that follows all the above principles.
Let’s now look at how to create a cardiovascular training program.
Cardiovascular Programming and FITTE
To create a program that increases your cardio fitness:
- First, determine the mode of your training, meaning, what type of cardio?
- Do you want to walk, run, bike, swim, hike?
- Second, determine the frequency, how often, and how many times a week.
- Third, figure out the duration of the training session.
- Will you train for 10 minutes or an hour?
- Fourth, you must know the training intensity.
- How much effort will you put into the exercise?
The acronym FITTE is a template for these rules:
- F – frequency of training.
- I – Intensity of the training.
- T – stands for the type of cardio workout training:
- short or long intervals.
- T – Training duration.
- E – Enjoyment, which aerobic exercise do you want to do?
Top 10 Cardiorespiratory Endurance Exercises
Now you know that improving your cardiorespiratory endurance is vital for your overall health and fitness.
Fortunately, there are many exercises that can help improve this type of endurance, even for beginners.
Here are the top 10 cardiorespiratory endurance exercises that anyone can do:
Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere and at any time.
It is a great way to get started with improving cardiorespiratory endurance.
Running is a high-impact exercise that can be challenging for beginners.
However, it is a great way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and can be done outdoors or on a treadmill.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that can be done on a stationary bike or outdoors.
It is a great way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also building leg strength.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be done in a pool or open water.
It is a great way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also working the entire body.
Jumping jacks are a simple exercise that can be done anywhere.
They can help improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also working the arms and legs.
Burpees are a challenging exercise that can help improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also building strength.
They involve a combination of squats, push-ups, and jumps.
Jumping rope is a fun and effective way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
It can be done indoors or outdoors and is a great way to get the heart rate up.
Rowing is a low-impact exercise that can be done on a rowing machine or in a boat.
It is a great way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also working the upper body.
Climbing stairs is a great way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance while also building leg strength.
It can be done on a stair climber machine or by climbing actual stairs.
Dancing is a fun and effective way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
It can be done in a group class or at home with a video.
As you can see, there are many exercises that can help improve cardiorespiratory endurance, even for beginners.
So, there are really no excuses for not starting on a cardio workout program.
Other than the fact that you’re likely used to sitting long hours every day.
The good news is that once you get started, you won’t want to stop, as you will quickly feel and see the results.
Choice of Exercise Mode
The choice of exercise mode depends on your preferences.
As well as any injuries that you might have.
If you have a rotator cuff injury, you have limited mobility.
The choice of mode also depends on your cardiovascular goals.
As well as your balance, physical activity, and current fitness level.
Last, your choice of exercise should reflect the type of movement that you do daily.
If you walk for a living, then choose walking, not swimming, for your exercise mode.
The American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for cardio frequency are:
3 – 5 times a week.
The exercise frequency is dependent on your goals, activities/sports, and needs.
How do you measure exercise intensity?
Exercise intensity is measured by:
The Talk Test –
Your ability to talk during exercise lessens as the exercise intensity increases.
The RPE –
A scale developed by Dr. Borg.
RPE stands for the rate of perceived exertion.
This scale is accurate in identifying the exercise intensity.
In order to discover the rate of perceived exertion, just ask yourself or your client the following:
On a scale of 1 – 10, what is your current level of effort/difficulty?
If the answer is a 1, the exercise is too easy.
If a 10, the exercise is much too difficult.
Target Heart Rate –
Another method of measuring intensity is your maximum heart rate.
If you are a 60-year-old man, a 60% intensity target heart rate is approximately 130 beats per minute.
The speed of the activity.
For example, if you are running 4.5 mph, increase the intensity by running 5 miles an hour.
What are some of the best Cardio workouts to burn fat?
Discover not only one but five cardio workouts to help transform your body in only three months!
See this article: 5 Cardio Workouts to Burn Fat in Only 12 Weeks.
- 5 Ways Cardiorespiratory Endurance Affects Physical Fitness
- The Overload Principle for Easy Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
- Hypertrophy Training – Essential Muscle Building Principles + Program
- Daily Workout Routines Vs Training – What is the Difference?
- 37 Remarkable Benefits of Deadlifts to Unleash Your Fitness Fast
¹ Heart Disease Facts – Center for Disease Control (CDC)
³ Physical Activity and Fitness Basics – American Heart Association
4 High Fitness Level Reduces Risk of Premature Death from All Causes – National Institute of Health