What do we understand under cardiovascular endurance exercises? To start with, the cardiovascular system includes our heart, blood, and blood vessels. Its function is vital – transporting oxygen-rich blood to all body parts and carrying deoxygenated blood back to the lungs. It can be named differently – cardiac, coronary, cardio-respiratory, cardiorespiratory, cardiovascular, respiratory, vascular and cardio exercise. Cardiovascular exercise is part and parcel of any fitness program, as it increases your heart rate and breathing under intense training; it’s the key to your physical health and endurance. And we will help you to use this “key” and make the most out of it.
What Are the Benefits of Cardio?
As we have already mentioned, cardiorespiratory endurance activities make the basis of any workout program as they hold a manifold of benefits. But what are these “heroes of health”? Brisk walking, swimming, stair climbing, cycling, running, jumping rope, badminton, etc. As you see, a severe name doesn’t mean “no-way-it’s-gonna-kill-me” workouts, quite the opposite – kind of having fun. Let’s have a closer look into the perks you’re going to get from these aerobic exercises.
Cardio Helps You Manage Your Weight
Well, of course, you heard about this a million times before, but how does it work? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy , we need to dedicate at least 75 minutes a week to intensive cardiorespiratory endurance activities. However, the more, the better.
When doing the cardio, your heart starts pumping faster, increasing the rate at which you lose weight and burn fat.
With the cardio exercises alone, you can steadily lose weight, not to mention the menu changes. It’s a well-known fact that weight loss requires a calorie deficit – burn more calories than you consume. You can reach it by changing your menu, leading a more physically active life or combining both approaches to achieve your goals quicker.
Cardio Reduces the Risk of Heart Diseases
Heart diseases are notorious leaders among the others . Being active is your primary step on the way to a healthy heart. Aerobic exercises help: to strengthen your heart muscle, control your resting heart rate (60-80 BPH, not more); prevent artery damage by keeping cholesterol under control; stabilize high blood pressure to avert a heart attack or stroke, and generally help your heart output (how well it works).
If you don’t feel strong enough for vigorous trainings, at least 30 minutes of a moderate walk every day will make a significant difference for you.
Cardio Can Improve Your Mood
Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of various neurological diseases and protects the brain from the detrimental effects of aging . Releasing endorphins also gives you the feeling of happiness and well-being and helps you get rid of anxiety.
In addition, according to the medically reviewed data of over 14 000 people, experts claim that cardio exercises help to fight the signs of depression , boosting your self-esteem and mood. What’s more, psychology-related changes come faster than physical benefits.
13 Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises to Do At Home
If you don’t know where and when to start, the answers are simple – today and at home. “Tomorrow” is a fantasy-like period that never occurs when workout-related. Postponing your life and health is not a good choice. Also, you’d better start at home, to feel how it goes and just to start a new life. If you buy a year’s membership in the gym, you’ll probably just waste money, as it will seem like a hard pill to swallow.
So, today and at home – it is the best combination for the movement towards your better health and appearance; hence, we will provide you with the best cardiovascular endurance exercises at home.
High knees are one of the types of workouts that should appear on your personal cardiovascular exercise list; it’s better to be performed at a fast pace. It engages your core, strengthens all the muscles in your legs, increases your heart rate, and improves coordination and flexibility.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift up your left knee to your chest.
- Switch to lift your right knee to your chest. Continue the movement, alternating legs and moving at a sprinting or running pace.
- Alternate legs and continue for 30 seconds (repeat 3-4 times).
Butt Kicks (also known as Glute Kicks) are a great warm-up exercise and one of many cardiovascular endurance examples; the dynamic movements stretch out the quadriceps muscle group.
- Place your hands on your butt, palms facing up.
- Bend one knee and lightly tap your hand with the heel of your foot.
- Switch to the other leg.
- Aim to run and set a marker or count as many steps as desired.
- Performing the Butt Kick at a pace that’s right for you.
Toe taps are a popular dynamic exercise in many workout plans. The toe tap is an appropriate form of exercises for cardiovascular endurance for any fitness level and helps to strengthen your core.
You’ll need a plyometric box, the bottom stair in a staircase, or any stable structure that is about 10 to 12 inches tall.
- Stand in front of a box or other stable platform.
- Place right foot on the top of the platform. The ball of your foot touches the box or ball. Your left foot remains on the floor, and your arms are at your sides.
- Push off from the left foot to bring it up and onto the platform while bringing the right foot back to the floor. This change will happen mid-air.
- Continue changing feet without stopping for the desired time.
- The change is quick, and it will feel like running on stairs.
- Perform the toe taps for 30 to 60 seconds. Rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat for 2 to 3 sets.
Standing Alternating Toe Touches
Standing Alternating Toe Touches is a dynamic standing exercise targeting lower abs and obliques. One of the best cardio exercises for beginners.
- To begin the exercise, lift the right leg up as high as possible without leaning backwards.
- Rotate your upper body to your right side while trying to touch the toe with your left hand. Exhale during this part of the movement.
- In a controlled motion, return back to the starting position. Inhale on the way back.
- Now do the same on the other side. Keep alternating sides until you reach a desired number of repetitions or until your abs fatigue, and you no longer can sustain a good form.
A jumping jack, a star jump, and a side-straddle hop is a jumping activity that works your glutes, shoulders and core. It’s one of the basics for your cardiovascular endurance exercises list and is working on your aerobic health.
- Stand straight with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
- Jump up and spread your legs out to the sides while bringing your arms up overhead.
- Jump back to the starting position and repeat.
- Continue for 30 seconds and have a 30-sec rest. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
One of the best cardiovascular endurance exercises examples because your muscles give maximum force (as with jumping) in short intervals of time.
- With your knees bent and your back leaning forward, leap on alternating feet from side to side.
- Stay on the balls of your feet, and pump your arms to propel your jumps.
- Your back should be as straight as possible, so try not to hunch your shoulders.
- Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds.
Imagine you are ice-skating quickly; it feels almost the same.
A type of cardiovascular fitness which proved to reduce body weight effectively. This cardio activity will make you sweat and increase your heart rate to a necessary fat-burning level.
- Place both feet on the floor hip-width apart; your knees remain in line with your toes.
- Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees.
- Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor; your back remains between a 45- to 90-degree angle to your hips. This is your starting position.
- Inhale. Exhale and gently draw your pubic bone to your belly button. While maintaining a squat position and keeping your right foot on the floor, step your left foot outwards so that your feet are slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale. Maintaining a squat position and keeping your left foot on the floor, step your right foot inwards to return to the starting position.
- Continue for 30 seconds.
Oblique crunches can be a great way to improve your overall core strength and tone up your abdominal muscles. These cardio endurance exercises require a workout mat.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
- Place your right hand behind your head and put your left hand on the ground next to you.
- Lift your shoulders off the ground and twist to the right, bringing your right elbow to meet your left knee.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
- Continue for 30 seconds.
A perfect cardiovascular exercise to work the hips and glutes.
- Start in a low squat position with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Jump to the right and land on your right leg, keeping your left leg off the ground.
- Quickly jump to the left and land on your left leg, keeping your right leg off the ground.
- Continue shuffling side to side for 30 seconds.
Jumping lunges build lower-body muscle, including your hip flexors, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads; one of the leaders among cardiovascular endurance exercises for beginners.
- Start with your right foot placed forward and your left foot back.
- Lower your body into a lunge position and jump up, switching the position of your feet in mid-air.
- Land with your left foot forward and your right foot back.
- Continue switching legs for 30 seconds.
A Squat Jump is one of the full-body cardiovascular exercise examples that strengthen the legs and core and develop the quadriceps and calf muscles. In contrast, the jump adds a heart rate-boosting cardio element to your strength training.
- Start in a low squat position with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Jump up and land in a low squat position.
- Repeat the jumps for 30 seconds in 3 – 4 sets.
Box jumps are another cardio endurance exercise that should be a part of each training session. In one swift motion, this exercise will work large muscle groups, including glutes, hamstrings, quads, abductors, adductors, and calves. This makes it an excellent workout for power and strength in your lower body.
This exercise requires an elevated but flat and sturdy surface. A good park bench or sturdy chair will get the job done.
- Stand facing the box with your feet hip-width apart and about six inches away from the box.
- Now, bend your knees until you’re in a quarter squat position.
- Push through the balls of your feet and jump straight into the air.
- At the top of your jump, bend your knees to bring your feet forward to land on top of the box.
- The balls of your feet should land first, followed by your heels. When you’re landing, it’s important to try and do this as softly as you can.
- Don’t be stiff; allow your knees and hips to bend naturally, so it absorbs the shock of your landing.
- Before you step back down, check to see if your feet are about hip distance apart. If they are, then you’ve done everything right.
- Step down from the box, return to your starting position, and repeat.
Plank jacks also increase your cardiorespiratory health and endurance. It feels like a jumping jack but in a horizontal position.
- Start in a plank position with your arms extended, hands under your shoulders, and feet together.
- Your body should be straight from your head to your heels.
- Engage your abs so that your lower back is protected from injury.
- Jump with both feet out, and then bring the feet back together.
- Perform plank jacks for 10-20 seconds to start.
Cardiorespiratory endurance exercises are about your health and are essential to any workout routine. Being done on a regular basis, they target heart rate, form effective protection against heart disease risks, level up your fitness level and immune system, increase your natural disease resistance, etc. The cardiovascular endurance exercises benefits are endless as long you involve in sports seriously, with your total dedication.
Sports routine should not be only 10 minutes in 1 week because your phone app can’t stop sending reminders. It is your conscious preference on the way of improving. A need to enhance cardiorespiratory endurance can make you think about the gym, but it’s not the only option. Cardio workouts can quickly be done at home, in homey conditions, with a suitable intensity (beginners mustn’t compare their performance with professionals).
Even when you add 30 minutes walking routine (the simplest type of cardio exercise ever) to your daily schedule, you will increase your cardiovascular work and, in the long run, will notice improved heart health.
Keep motivated and robust, and we will always support you on your way to changes.
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- Cross country skiing.