Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular Endurance

Are you able to complete your daily tasks comfortably without getting tired?

When it comes to completing day-to-day tasks many of us face a common problem. Endurance! In simple words, we can also call it “lack of stamina”. We feel fatigued while performing tasks throughout the day. The feeling of fatigue can often be attributed to a lack of cardiovascular endurance.

"Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system to work together and transport oxygenated blood to the working skeletal muscles for a prolonged length of time without fatigue.”

The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood and blood vessels. Our muscles need oxygenated blood to contract and perform the task. The long-duration of tasks or work needs oxygenated blood for an extended length of time. For example, when an individual does jogging, his/her muscles contract again and again and need a constant supply of oxygenated blood. By increasing cardiovascular endurance, an individual can improve performance in day-to-day life and competitive sports. A decrease in cardiovascular endurance makes daily tasks like several floors of climbing, walking, jogging, running, swimming etc. very difficult, and sometimes nearly impossible. As a sports person who engages in tennis, football, squash, boxing etc playing intensively till the last minute of the game, needs cardiovascular endurance. It directly impacts the performance of their game. Very compressed cardiovascular endurance may even lead to cardiac arrest during the above-mentioned activities.

So how one can improve cardiovascular endurance?

Cardiovascular endurance can be improved by doing low-intensity exercises over a long duration of time without stopping. Such exercises are aerobic in nature and involve low-intensity muscular activity for more than 3 minutes in which ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is synthesised in the presence of oxygen. These are typically called cardiovascular exercises or aerobic exercises. Walking, jogging, running, swimming, skipping, cycling, using an elliptical trainer for low impact on the knee, rowing machine, stair climbing etc are exercises which improve cardiovascular endurance. People who engage in sports like football, squash, and tennis are erroneously considered to provide more cardiovascular endurance. These are stop-and-start activities that cannot improve cardiovascular endurance but rather require cardiovascular endurance to play long matches well.

At what intensity do we need to train?

According to AHA ( American Heart Association ), everyone reaches a minimum of 30 minutes of some form of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days per week. This can be divided into 3 sets of 10-minute time periods each. This means taking 3 rounds of walk of 10 minutes each would let you reach the recommended minimum guideline for reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

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