What is Cardiovascular Training?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2019
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Cardiovascular training, or aerobic training, is a type of exercise designed to increase muscular endurance by improving the performance of the heart and lungs to distribute oxygen to the muscles. Cardiovascular training can also help one achieve and maintain a healthy weight by burning calories. Exercises of this type use large muscle groups, and involve raising the heart rate to a target rate for at least 30 minutes.

Cardiovascular training is an important component of a health regimen. Ideally, it should be performed at least three times a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. Some popular cardiovascular training exercises are power walking, running, swimming, biking aerobic dance, and step. Using more than one type of cardiovascular exercise, a practice called cross-training, can be even more effective than using just one.

If cardiovascular training is used to burn fat, the target heart rate is typically 60% to 70% of the maximum heart rate. Beginners can start at a lower target heart rate, around 50% of the maximum. When using a target heart rate of 50% to 70% of the maximum heart rate, about 85% of the calories burned will come from fat. If your goals instead are to maximize the performance of your cardiovascular and respiratory system, thereby building your endurance, maintain a heart rate of 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate. Performing cardiovascular training at this level can increase the size and strength of one's heart.


To determine your ideal heart rate for cardiovascular training, first determine your resting heart rate. This is best done in the morning, when the body is as close as possible to a resting state. Find your pulse on the throat, or the inside of the wrist, by pressing lightly with the index and middle finger. Do not use the thumb, as the thumb also has a pulse. Using a watch with a second hand, count the number of heart beats in ten seconds, then multiply by six. For maximum accuracy, repeat this process for three consecutive mornings and average the result for the resting heart rate.

To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Next, subtract the resting heart rate from the maximum heart rate to determine your heart rate reserve. Depending upon your goals, determine the range of your target heart rate. Multiply the heart rate reserve by the maximum and minimum levels of your target heart rate -- say 60% and 70% -- then add your resting heart rate to each number to find the maximum and minimum beats per minute of your target heart range.

Since it is important to maintain a certain heart rate for cardiovascular training, neither falling short nor exceeding it, it is important to monitor one's heart rate during exercise. Many cardio machines allow the user to constantly measure his or her heart rate, and there are also wristbands that serve this purpose. Alternatively, one can use a clock with a second hand or a stopwatch and take ones pulse at regular intervals to determine whether one is in the target heart rate zone while exercising.


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Post 2

I know that many runners perform cardiovascular interval training in order to gain aerobic capacity.

They will often engage in a series of anaerobic and aerobic intervals. The anaerobic cardiovascular circuit training methods might include performing one or two minute of short sprints, running as fast as possible followed by a three to four minutes of a recovery jog.

The benefits of cardiovascular training like this allows the heart to expand and become more efficient. In addition, it will boost your endurance level so that you can engage in more intense workouts.

Elite athletes should only conduct anaerobic exercises like sprints because it could be dangerous if you are used to that level of intensity.

Post 1

Cardiovascular endurance training is often done to prepare for a long-distance race.

Many marathon runners usually fit together cardiovascular fitness training that varies in an intensity and length.

A typical marathoner prepares to run a marathon for six months to one year because it takes an incredible amount of endurance to sustain many 26 miles of running straight.

Some days they might run only five miles while other days they might work up to eleven miles.

There is a great site called Runners World that offers training tips and programs for various types of races and they also have forums so that you can talk to beginning and experienced runners. It is really a great site.

They also offer various other cardiovascular training methods to help you develop your endurance level.

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