How To Increase Your Cardiovascular Endurance For More Rewarding Workouts

Cardiovascular endurance is a measure of how well you can exercise for an extended period of time. According to experts at Health, this largely depends on how effectively your heart and lungs work during physical activity to fill your blood with oxygen and have it delivered to your muscles.

Improving your cardiovascular endurance by performing exercises that engage both your heart and your muscles can boost your athletic performance and benefit your physical health. For instance, increasing your endurance can actually lower your resting heart rate. This is a sign that your heart is pumping blood much more easily and effectively. It can also make your heart pump more blood and give you greater capillary density, which just means you'll have more tiny blood vessels to transport oxygen to your muscles.

To measure your cardiovascular endurance, you can take the Talk Test — a self-evaluation that determines whether or not you can talk during exercise. If you can't comfortably string together less than 10 words at a time, you've reached the upper threshold of your cardiovascular endurance. This means that your body is no longer getting enough oxygen to fuel your muscles.

Gradually increase the difficulty of your workouts

According to WebMD, you can improve your cardiovascular endurance by gradually increasing the length and difficulty of your workouts by 10% to 20% each week. To do this, you can steadily increase your speed or resistance level and add 1 to 2 minutes to your workout per week for every 10 minutes you exercise. When it comes to the type of exercise, however, it's best to pick something you actually enjoy.

Some nonstop, aerobic exercises you can perform to increase your cardiovascular endurance include walking, jogging, running, swimming, hiking, rowing, dancing, and stair climbing. However, you want to make sure you don't overdo it. That means not doing the same exact type of exercise more than five days per week. If you want to work out every day, you can mix up your routine by including some low-impact activities; this way you don't end up putting too much strain on your joints and muscles.