Many people know that cardiovascular endurance is an important aspect of fitness and health, but it is not always clear what exactly cardiovascular endurance entails. Should you be able to run a certain distance without stopping? Does it matter whether you use a file The best rowing machine (Opens in a new tab) or the Best exercise bike? (Opens in a new tab)
To learn more about cardiovascular endurance, we spoke to Brian Franklin (Opens in a new tab)ACSM Certified Sports Physiologist.
Brynn Franklin is an ACSM Certified Sports Physiologist, ACE Certified Health Coach, and Master of Exercise Science. Her practical daily work focuses on improving women’s health, but she also has a history of helping people master corrective exercises in their training.
What is cardiovascular tolerance?
“Cardiovascular endurance is the extent to which the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems are able to provide the body with oxygen during continuous physical activity,” Franklin told Live Science.
The better a person’s cardiovascular endurance is, the longer their endurance will last Exercise (Opens in a new tab) Without getting tired or having to slow down or stop.
Good cardiovascular endurance not only means a person can run longer or swim for longer periods, but it also provides improvements to physical and mental health. Some of the other benefits include stronger and more efficient heart function, improved breathing mechanisms, a lower resting heart rate, and a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Improving your cardiovascular endurance can also improve your ability to metabolize fat during exercise.
How to measure cardiovascular endurance
So, how do you know how “good” your cardiovascular endurance is?
According to Franklin, “Cardiovascular endurance is measured by looking at maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max (Opens in a new tab)) and how it is used during intense exercise. In other words, the more oxygen you use, and how effectively it is used, tells us how well your cardiovascular and respiratory systems work together.”
From a practical perspective, Franklin said, cardiovascular endurance can be assessed in many different ways.
“For beginners, the Rockport Walk . Test (Opens in a new tab) Good way to measure cardiovascular endurance. The goal, she said, is to walk as fast as you can for one mile and then immediately take the pulse for 10 seconds. The heart rate is then entered into an equation to find a person’s maximum VO2.
In this way, the Rockport Walk test is a good “field test” that anyone can perform on their own without going to an exercise testing lab or using specialized metabolic equipment.
Another applicable field test recommended by Franklin for assessing cardiovascular endurance is the YMCA 3-minute step test.
“The YMCA 3-minute step test (Opens in a new tab) It can be easily managed by ascending a 12-inch step while following a three-minute rhythm of 96 beats per minute,” she said. The pulse is taken immediately after the test for one minute. The pulse results are the test result.”
While both tests can provide a reasonable estimate of a person’s aerobic capacity, Franklin said the most accurate test for VO2 max is a submaximal running exercise test, which should be administered by a doctor or exercise physiologist in a lab setting.
“It involves a 20-minute test of various intensities while measuring respiratory rate and heart rate,” Franklin told Live Science. “This test can be expensive and is used most often by elite athletes.”
Franklin explained that anyone can interpret their results by comparing them to the guidelines or the results chart associated with your stress test.
How to improve cardiovascular endurance
Although beginners are likely eager to quickly improve their endurance and cardiovascular endurance, Franklin said starting on a small scale is a viable, if not more ideal, method. Overdoing it or doing too much too soon can lead to injuries.
“Start with 10-15 minutes of work in the first week,” Franklin said. “Then, gradually work your way up by increasing the distance, length of time, or incline by adding 10% to 20% each week.”
In other words, gradually increase the duration of the exercise over time in a gradual but progressive manner. Of course, listen to your body as you go, and step back when you need to recover further.
The best type of exercise for cardiovascular endurance
Any type of exercise that a person can do nonstop while raising the heart rate into the aerobic zone can be used to increase cardiovascular endurance.
In general, the Aerobic zone (Opens in a new tab) 70% to 80% of a person’s maximum heart rate. For example, if your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute, a cardio exercise would put your heart rate in the range of 126-144 beats per minute.
Examples of good aerobic exercise include walking, running, hiking, swimming, biking, rowing, stair climbing, rope jumping, line skiing, cross-country skiing, and the elliptical. Franklin advised that the type of exercise you do is not as important as cardio, so it’s best to choose an activity that you enjoy.
“If you don’t enjoy doing it, you won’t continue and your cardiovascular endurance will suffer,” she said. “Exercise should be fun and enjoyable.” “You can focus on one or a cycle with different activities to keep things fun and not ordinary.”