Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises

The heart is a muscular organ that is crucial to your survival. Therefore, the health of your heart must also be a top priority to keep it functioning well throughout your life. Cardiovascular endurance exercises are a great way to keep your heart healthy, but what do they include? 

Cardiovascular endurance exercises include power walking, running, swimming, biking, crab walks, high knees, lateral shuffles, squat jumps, lunge jumps, mountain climbers, plank ski hops, and the inchworm crawl. 

The health and strength of your heart is something that everyone must keep at the top of their priority lists to ensure that they are able to live a long, healthy life. To keep up the health of your heart, cardiovascular endurance exercises are an excellent way to keep your heart and body in great working order. Continue reading to see why cardiovascular endurance exercises are so important and the various exercises out there that can aid in cardiovascular endurance. 

Why are Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises Important? 

Exercising in general is known by just about anyone to be beneficial to the body. There are so many different types of exercising though and plenty that target different muscle groups, which can leave some people wondering what the best exercise route to take is. If you are looking into cardiovascular endurance exercises, it is likely that your focus is actually your heart. Let’s take a look below to see why cardiovascular endurance is so important. 

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Cardiovascular Endurance Improves Heart Health 

Judging from the name itself, cardiovascular endurance targets one of the most important muscles in your body – your heart. If your heart’s not in shape, then its proper function will slowly decline just as any other muscle in your body will. There are other ways that certainly aid in the strength of your heart, but cardiovascular endurance exercises are at the very center of helping to provide healthy resistance and intensity of your heart. 

Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises Can Lower Blood Pressure 

It is no secret that high blood pressure is a reason for concern and should be avoided at all costs. To keep your blood pressure lowered, cardiovascular endurance exercises help to make your heart healthier which results in a better ability for it to pump more blood per beat. When this happens, stress on your heart is decreased and thus, stress on surrounding arteries is also decreased which can lead to lower blood pressure. 

Cardiovascular Endurance Will Aid in Daily Tasks 

The health of your heart goes far beyond what goes on inside this muscle. A healthy heart is the gateway to giving individuals the ability to perform seemingly menial and easy tasks without being hampered physically. Those who participate in cardiovascular endurance exercises will have a stronger heart and thus, will be able to walk up stairs, carry heavy objects, or even simply carrying a baby around with much more ease and comfort. 

Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises  

Now that you know a few of the different reasons that make cardiovascular endurance so important, you are likely wondering what this type of exercise looks like. There are so many ways to complete cardiovascular endurance exercises, but below are some of the most common and most efficient exercises out there. 

The important thing to remember is that with each of these exercises, the goal is to build your cardiovascular endurance. This doesn’t mean that you need to push yourself to the breaking point, but always have a goal to push yourself long enough to where you can see an extended increase in your heart rate. For those just beginning, this could be as short as 15 minutes, but the minimum workout is typically 30 minutes three times a week to increase aerobic capacity.

Power Walking 

If running is something you either abhor or something your body is simply not capable of (perhaps due to bad knees or other joint problems) power walking can be a great way to increase heart rate while taking it a bit easier on your body. To power walk, be sure to use your hips to accelerate you and keep your arms tucked to your side. Move from heel to toe with light steps as you maintain a rapid walking pace. 

Running 

Running is probably the most original exercise when it comes to cardiovascular endurance. This is for good reason because it is effective and it does not require anything more than keeping up a pace that causes your heart rate to increase. To run, simply grab your favorite running gear and either hit the track at the gym, your neighborhood sidewalk, hop onto a treadmill, or find your favorite park and get to picking up the pace. 

Swimming 

Another preferred and whole-body workout is swimming. This type of exercise is not for everyone, as some simply don’t enjoy getting into the water. However, this is one of the most effective exercises when it comes to cardiovascular endurance as it pushes individuals to push their own limits which causes their heart rates to increase rapidly. This is also a great exercise for those who need little less wear and tear on their joints. 

Biking 

If you prefer the road to water and are not looking for a slew of different workouts to add to your everyday ‘To-Do’ list, biking may be a great option for you. However, do consider that the type of biking to aid in cardiovascular endurance is not a leisurely ride to the corner store. Speed and resistance are needed for it to be an effective workout in this area. Great for those practicing though is that it can be done on both a stationary, road, or off-road bike well. 

Crab Walk 

© LivestrongWoman

Getting into more concentrated exercises that can be added to a daily routine, there is the crab walk. You may look quite laughable with this exercise, but it will certainly aid in your heart’s health. To complete a crab walk, start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Place your hands behind your shoulders on the ground and then lift your hips up off the floor. You will then walk backward as you maintain a tight core.  

High Knees 

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High knees are essentially running in place, which makes this an extremely versatile cardiovascular exercise. To complete high knees you will begin standing with your legs together and your arms at your side. Lift one knee towards your chest, lower it back down, then lift the opposite knee in the same motion. For those just starting out, this can be done at a medium pace, but a more rapid motion will be more effective for cardiovascular endurance.

Lateral Shuffles

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Shuffling may sound like the kind of exercise that only the lazy would complete, but the lateral shuffle is one that will get your cardiovascular endurance built up in no time. For lateral shuffles, stand with your feet hip-width apart as you bend your knees and push your hips backward. Then, lift your left foot, push off with your right foot, and move left while maintaining that form. Place your feet together, continue shuffling, then repeat with your right side. 

Squat Jumps 

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Vamping up the individual workouts, you have squat jumps. Squat jumps are moderately difficult, but they are a sure way to get your heart rate up and build on your cardiovascular endurance. To complete squat jumps, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees as you lower into a squat. Once you have lowered, swing your arms up into the air and jump along with this movement. Land back into the same position and repeat. 

Lunge Jumps 

© Nuffield Health

A bit more challenging than squat jumps are lunge jumps. To complete lunge jumps, get your body into a lunge position with one leg bent in front of you at 90 degrees and the other leg behind in a kneeling position. Very quickly, swing your arms back then swing them upward and jump as you switch legs and replace the one that was previously behind you to the position that is in front of you. 

Mountain Climber 

The mountain climber is a sure way to get the blood in your heart pumping and strengthen this all-important muscle. To complete a mountain climber, you will start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and extended, body flat, and feet extended behind you. Once you are positioned, bring your left knee quickly toward your chest and immediately switch as you bring your right knee into the same position. 

Plank Ski Hops 

© Howcast

This exercise is not for the faint of heart, but for those who want their cardiovascular strength to reach new levels. To complete a plank ski hop, you will again get down into a plank position with your hands extended shoulder-width apart, body straight, and legs extended also. Then, jump your feet from left to right as you keep your knees together and work to bring them outside of your left and right elbow with every rotation. 

Inchworm Crawl 

© Howcast

Although at first glance this may sound like an easy cardiovascular exercise, it is anything but (which is great for your endurance!). To complete an inchworm crawl, stand with your feet together and engage your core as you bend forward right at your hips and reach your arms to the floor. Softly bend your knees then slowly walk your hands out in front of you until you have reached a plank position. Walk your feet back to your hands, stand, then repeat. 

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