Cardiovascular fitness can be defined very simply as your body’s ability to efficiently transport oxygen and blood around the body in tandem with the lungs. Some call this having wind – or the ability to work hard and not break a sweat. When your pulse quickens and you begin to breathe quicker and deeper you are using your cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular fitness is that part of a fitness program that deals specifically with improving the efficiency of the heart muscle and increasing the capacity of the lungs. If you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness in general you’ll find that three to four times per week for 20 to 40 minutes per session will give you great results.
Cardiovascular fitness include which type of exercise to do to improve the conditioning and efficiency of your heart. No matter what the exercise you’ll be doing it based on duration, intensity and your goals.
If you goal is to improve your general cardiovascular fitness do moderately intensive work. You’ll feel your breathing deepen and you’ll feel you are working. There are cardiovascular fitness articles that address fat loss as well. If you have a goal of weight loss but you’re in poor shape, do low intensity, long duration exercise. This type of exercise will improve your cardiovascular conditioning, increase your metabolism and cause weight loss.
Cardiovascular fitness should also include how quickly your heart is beating. Theoretically your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute your heart is capable of producing. Your heart rate should be a guide for your cardiovascular intensity.
You can find your Max heart rate using the following equation: Subtract your age from 220. For example if you are 40 years old then 220 – 40 = 180. This is a simple estimation and not an absolute limit. Now you must find your target heart rate, which is 60-80% of your maximum rate. This is the rate that you should work in order to achieve the most fitness from the time spent.
In order to estimate your maximum heart rate and then your target rate you must first know how to take your pulse. There are two places to take a pulse or heart rate. The first is at the wrist over the radial artery. You’ll be counting the number of pulsations you feel. Use your first two fingers and not your thumb. Your thumb has arterial blood flow and you’ll confuse the beats in your thumb and your wrist giving you an abnormal number.
Another place to take your pulse is over the carotid artery, which runs up your neck on either side. Remember to use your first two fingers and not your thumb. You should never take your pulse at your neck over both sides at once. This can cause you to lose oxygen to your brain, become dizzy or cause permanent cellular damage in the brain.
Once you find the pulse use a watch and count the number of beats you feel over 15 seconds and multiply by 4. You can count for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 or for 30 seconds and multiply by 2.
Cardiovascular fitness information will help you chose between high and low intensity and aerobic vs anaerobic activity to improve your fitness levels. Although the use of low intensity and high intensity exercise burns almost equal amounts of fat people who are not fit should never attempt high intensity workouts. This will only cause injury and potentially decrease your motivation to continue an exercise program.
There are different exercises which are common cardiovascular fitness activities. They fit into a cardiovascular fitness article routine when they fit your lifestyle. These activities include walking, aerobic dance, swimming, roller blading, running/jogging, sprinting, cycling, and cross country skiing,
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Exercise Intensity on Cardiovascular Fitness, Total Body Composition and Visceral Adiposity of obese Adolescents
Ace Fitness: Cardiovascular Exercise
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA: Cardiovascular Fitness
Wellness Proposals: What is Cardiovascular Fitness