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How Do I Increase Cardio Endurance?

Jogging provides an aerobic workout.
Runners can use interval training to improve their speed.
Hikes through rugged terrain can increase cardio endurance.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2014
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To increase cardio endurance, it is necessary to steadily increase the difficulty of your workouts, as well as the amount of time that you spend working out. In addition, another great way to increase cardio endurance is to vary your workouts, and do different exercises on different days of the week. This prevents the body from reaching a plateau, both in weight loss and in physical and cardiovascular fitness.

When your cardio endurance improves, your resting heart rate will be slower, and you will be able to return to your resting heart rate more quickly. It will be easier to breathe while working out, and to work out for longer periods of time. Your endurance will steadily improve with regular exercise; this means sustained aerobic activity at least three to five days per week, for at least 30 minutes per session. As your endurance increases, you may increase your workout times; some people also find that they prefer to split their workouts up throughout the day, and maybe do a morning workout and an evening workout.

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To increase cardio endurance, you will first need to measure some aspect of your workout, whether it is distance traveled or time spent working out. For instance, you might calculate that it takes you ten minutes to run one mile. You might then attempt to either shorten the time it takes you to run one mile, or try to run a greater distance in ten minutes. Essentially it is the exact same thing, though some people prefer one measurement over the other. Another way to measure endurance is to compare your resting heart rate to your maximum heart rate while exercising; there are a number of charts online to help you use this information most effectively.

The best way to increase cardio endurance is to gradually increase the length of time you spend working out. Short bursts of activity can be helpful for increasing running speed, but will not do much for endurance. Instead, maintaining a steady pace while jogging, walking briskly, swimming, or biking will, over time, increase cardio endurance. When you find that a certain pace or distance becomes easier for you, push yourself to go a little faster or farther. In addition, if you get bored with your activity, switch to a different one; if you always walk on a treadmill, for example, try going on a hike outside to use different muscles and break out of a rut.

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