Cardiovascular Endurance Training Tips and Benefits from the Experts

If you told high school I would run a business one day marathon, I’ll call you crazy.I wanted Believe it, but my cardio endurance is meh.a few miles not so fast Treadmill feel tired enough. Anyone who can run long distances (looking at you, cross country athlete!) impresses me.

I started running more steadily in college, logging farther and farther.And me did Cross the marathon finish line. So, what has changed?

a lot of. On the one hand, improving cardiovascular endurance comes into play.Cardiovascular endurance allows you to maintain a certain pace or workload without overtaxing your heart, according to Stacy The SimsPhD, Female Athlete Performance Physiologist and women’s health Advisory Committee. (Think about it: You can start running at a certain pace for just a few minutes at a time, and in a few weeks you can run miles.)

Meet the experts: Stacy The SimsPh.D., Female Athlete Performance Physiologist, Nutritionist, WH Advisory Board, Author next level.

Cardiovascular endurance is an important part of overall fitness, and it goes beyond the track. In fact, you can think of it as the foundation of a fitness pyramid, according to The Sims. Solid cardiovascular endurance also comes with a long list of potential benefits, from making everyday life a little easier to preventing disease.

interested? I thought so. Here’s everything you need to know about cardiovascular endurance from the experts, including the best ways to build your endurance, how to measure it, and what amazing benefits you’ll experience in and out of the gym.

What is Cardiorespiratory Endurance?

First, you need to understand exactly what the term means. Cardiovascular endurance (or your cardio capacity) allows you to maintain a certain pace or workload without overtaxing your heart. Basically, it depends on how fast you can bring oxygen into the circulation, Sims explained.

To break it down further, consider what happens to your body when you exercise.When you start exercising, your heart rate goes up so you can get blood, Sims explained leave from the digestive system and non-essential organs and to The right location, your working muscles and skin (to reduce heat generated by the muscles). Blood flow does something to your muscles, she adds.It removes waste and provides oxygen for Aerobic Energy creation.

Eventually, you get to the point where you have to stop and recover. However, over time, you can keep your pace longer before that. Why? According to The Sims, one of the reasons is that you improve cardiovascular endurance – your heart gets stronger and your vascularization (more blood vessels) improves. In other words, your heart can pump blood more efficiently, and blood can get where it needs to go more efficiently.

What are the benefits of cardiovascular endurance?

First, it’s worth repeating: building cardiovascular endurance can help you work out for long periods of time (imagine being able to complete back-to-back Peloton classes, or sprint an entire Recreation League race, or lead a team on a long hike). However, this performance advantage is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are more benefits of cardiovascular endurance:

  • better sleep. The healthier you are, the better your sleep patterns will be, Sims says.One study An article published in 2010 assessed the link between sleep quality and cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescent girls. Those classified as “fit” were more likely to report better Zzz.
  • Get sick less often. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is also associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart failure, according to a 2018 study reviewPlus, when you sleep better, Sims points out, it helps your immune system.In fact, according to an article Mayo Clinic, people who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to the virus. Therefore, a boosted immune system is an indirect benefit of cardiovascular health.
  • Daily life upgrades. Finally, Sims points out that better cardiovascular fitness can help you with seemingly simple everyday tasks like carrying heavy groceries, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, keeping up with your kids, and more.

    Which Exercises Can Build Cardiovascular Endurance?

    Think running is the only way to boost your cardio? In fact, cross-country skiing and rowing are the gold standard for building cardiovascular endurance, according to The Sims. Running, cycling and swimming are also good options.

    “The more muscles you engage in movement, the more stress you put on your body,” Sims explains. “So the more blood it needs, the faster the endurance aspect kicks in.” For example, when you row a boat, your body has to push blood to your upper body muscles, your lower body muscles, and core muscles, she said.

    Common exercise patterns to increase cardiovascular endurance:

    • cross country skiing
    • boating
    • Run
    • ride a bike
    • swim
    • high-intensity interval training

      Just a word of caution: you don’t have to stick to long, slow workouts to get a boost. “There are many studies that show [says] Short, sharp, high-intensity work helps promote cardiovascular fitness and endurance [something] It’s like running for 30 minutes,” Sims said.

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      For example, low-intensity HIIT can lead to similar or even greater improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiac function (among other things) than high-intensity HIIT and moderate-intensity sustained training, with each review Posted in 2021 Journal of PhysiologyHigh stress requires the body to adapt quickly, Sims said.

      Pro tip: For beginners, it’s a good idea to work with a trainer to improve cardiovascular endurance and understand how your body moves and refuels, says Sims. And, people prone to overuse may also need a professional to take responsibility and help them back off when necessary.

      Changing your running pace during training can also help reach your endurance goals. The Sims recommend slowing down the pace of long runs so they’re fun – not hard. Then, speed up for a shorter track workout or run faster than your race day goal. It trains your body to work more efficiently at a faster pace. “Then, when you get to marathon pace, everything becomes a lot easier,” she said.

      How to measure your cardiovascular endurance?

      You can keep a close eye on your cardiovascular endurance at home in a number of different ways. Sims recommends two DIY methods.

      Do a time trial once a month. It’s an especially good option if you don’t have the help of technology, Sims says. For example, you can run a 5K on the same terrain every month, recording your pace and your perceived exertion. She explains that as your cardiovascular endurance improves, your time decreases. Of course, your time can be affected by a variety of factors, so it’s not a perfect measure – but it will at least give you an idea of ​​how your stamina is trending.

      Monitor your heart rate. According to The Sims, you can also track a few different metrics, namely Resting Heart Rate (RHR) and Heart Rate Variability (HRV). When your cardiovascular endurance increases, your resting heart rate decreases. on the other hand, higher Heart rate variability can indicate higher levels of cardiovascular fitness and stress resistance, according to Harvard Health.

      Both are stats that many fitness watches or health tracking apps can store for you. Alternatively, you can measure your resting heart rate manually. (Just put a finger on your pulse and use the timer first thing in the morning.) “I like to watch weekly or monthly trends,” Sims advises.But remember: RHR and HRV can be affected by where you are in your menstrual cycle, she says. So keep this limitation in mind if you’re going to track these metrics.

      How long does it take to improve cardiovascular endurance?

      The exact schedule varies based on your current fitness level. There is good news for beginners. “At the end of the second week, if you’re consistent, you’ll notice major improvements,” Sims said. For example, you might notice that you can keep running longer, or that your heart rate isn’t as high as you run, she explained.

      If you are more experienced, the schedule will be different. It can take a few months, she notes, as your body gets used to the stress. In this case, she recommends interval training in long, slow workouts to increase the stress on the body and keep you motivated.

      Do you have 20 minutes? Try this cardio kettlebell workout:

      What happens to cardiovascular endurance if injured?

      Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to maintain stamina. According to The Sims, you can use other forms of exercise to accommodate your injury and trigger cardiovascular stress.

      She recommends alternating just two days a week to achieve your typical movement speed. She adds that if you’re trying to build stamina after an injury, then you’ll want to think about more than two days a week — but don’t build so quickly that you don’t get injured again. Of course, consult your documentation for licensing exercises and confirm that it is safe to try alternatives during recovery.

      Bottom line: Cardiovascular endurance is an important aspect of fitness—no matter where you are in your fitness journey. There are many ways to build on your own or with a professional and track your progress.

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