Fitness activities can be broadly classified into two types:
- Aerobic fitness activity
- Anaerobic exercise
Aerobic exercises (some also call it Cardio) can be understood as a type of continuous and rhythmic exercising pattern that is designed to challenge your heart and lungs.
One of the most well-known benefits of aerobic exercises is its ability to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and maintenance of healthy weight. Running, cycling, swimming, etc are some of the most common cardio workouts.
On the other hand, anaerobic activities can be defined as an exercising pattern that is mostly used to develop strength and stimulate muscle growth. Anaerobic exercises are not designed to improve endurance, they are designed to improve muscle density and strength.
Why do we need cardiorespiratory endurance?
You need to improve your cardio fitness because your heart and lungs need some workout too.
Multiple fitness gurus have advocated the negative effects of cardio on muscle mass, that’s the reason people are more likely to prefer weight-training to burn calories.
If you fear muscle loss while doing cardio then you should focus more on proper supplementation and HIIT cardio but you should never completely eliminate cardio from a fitness routine.
Regular cardio will not only assist in maintaining healthy heart health but will also improve your weight lifting performance through improved blood flow.
Before we discuss how to increase cardio endurance it’s important to know the benefits of better endurance.
How To Increase Cardio Endurance:
Many people have terrible cardiovascular health because of a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.
Don’t worry, with our tried and tested tips you will able to develop greater endurance. Let’s have a look at the pro tips to improve cardio endurance:
- Combine strength and cardio
- Interval training & sprint training
- Variations to cardio routine after every 4-weeks
- Tempo running
- Proper fueling and stretching
- Do not neglect the strength training
- Rest and recovery
Lets understand all the tips in more details.
1- Combine strength days with cardio days.
Best way to increase cardio endurance is to get more muscular support, Its a very practical strategy to improve your cardiovascular endurance. With the combination of resistance training and cardio training, you are providing the required muscular support for longer runs or any other endurance activity.
For example: if you are looking to improve your cycling endurance then training your legs twice a week will improve your body’s ability to push harder.
2- Interval training:
Interval training is also known as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), this kind of training has been proven beneficial for endurance.
Interval training increases the maximum stroke volume of the heart. Stroke volume can be defined as the amount of blood your heart can pump into the system in a single stroke.
Including interval training in routine will improve your heart’s ability to pump more blood in a single stroke that will direly reduce your heart rate and will help you run further.
My recommendations: its best practice to include HIIT training in your program for at least 2 days a week to improve your cardiovascular endurance.
3- Bring variations:
Your body gets used to of same workout routine, building better endurance involves more variations in workout pattern to increase stamina.
If you are always running then switch to Swimming or Muay Thai. Introducing variations into your workout routine will help in better conditioning and avoiding plateaus.
I have seen many runners with week calves, dedicating some time to practice skipping can bring a drastic change in the ability to run for longer distances.
Read more: HOW THE KETO DIET CAN IMPROVE YOUR RUNNING?
4- Slow speed long-distance run.
This is the foundation training pattern for long-distance runners, long-distance cyclists, and other endurance sports.
Maintain a slow tempo to allow your body for consistent energy and to save yourself from going out of breath.
Stamina develops slowly and gradually. If you want to run long distance then focus on making your body comfortable with the distance.
If you are training for a 5K run then focus on covering that distance 3 times a week, no matter how slow.
You are free to take breaks, your goal should be to cover the distance. Gradually your body will adapt itself to cover the distance with much ease.
5- Fuel yourself:
Long-distance running is all about consistent supply of energy.
You don’t really need to eat the mountain of pasta, but it’s necessary to stay mindful of the food you consume before you run. Sometimes I prefer keeping energy bars with me to have a sustained amount of energy.
Don’t forget the electrolytes, your body is going to lose a lot of vitamins and minerals, you will be required to replenish them.
6- Rest and recover:
Recovery plays an important part in improving endurance. You should take your food and sleep more seriously if you are sincere about improving your cardio endurance.
Sleeping at least 8 hours a day and eating a high protein diet is a key to improve workout performance.
Benefits Of Cardiovascular Endurance:
Building a better aerobic endurance should be a part of everyone’s fitness routine, it doesn’t just make you look better but also improves strength, flexibility, conditioning, coordination, heart health and much more. Let’s have a look at the benefits of regular cardio endurance training.
It’s the most well-known benefit of aerobic fitness training, it helps in stripping down that excess fat by forcing the body into a caloric deficit.
Strengthen your immune system:
Yes, it has been proven, a study conducted at the University of Illinois stated the positive effect of regular cardio on the immune system. Elderly volunteers (Age: 65+) were made to do cardiovascular activities 3 times a week over the period of 6-months were found to have an improved immune system.
Slow state cardio isn’t just helping in burning more calories but also assisting in faster recovery because of improved blood flow.
Study demonstrated the enhanced recovery from high-intensity intermittent exercise through improved lactate removal and enhanced phosphocreatine regeneration.
Cardiovascular workouts are found to curb stress, it helps in the secretion of hormones like endorphin and dopamine. These hormones are directly responsible for lowering anxiety, stress, and depression.
Now let’s get to our original topic, how to increase cardiovascular endurance.
Thanks for reading. Questions welcomed in the comments as always.