What Is Cardiovascular Fitness? How To Improve It?
Work Wellness

What Is Cardiovascular Fitness? How To Improve It?

|Feb 1, 2023
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Learn about the importance and benefits of cardiovascular fitness and how one can measure and improve their fitness especially when working a sedentary job. Office workers often think of adopting different wellness program ideas to work on their health and wellness. Being someone who is concerned about their health, you might have given this a thought as well. You must be looking for the right physical therapy equipment to attain it. Nevertheless, one thing you might not have complete information about is your cardiovascular fitness, so we will be helping you with that.

Being someone who likes keeping track of their fitness so that they stay happy and healthy, you must know the importance of cardiovascular fitness. If you select the right cardiovascular exercise and massage equipment, you can redefine your potential at work and become more active. It doesn’t end here because there are multiple other benefits as well.

Today, we will be discussing everything about cardiovascular fitness and exercise. As you read further, you will discover cardiovascular exercise benefits, the apt ways of measuring your level of cardiovascular fitness, and the right ways of improving it. So, let’s begin with the basics! 

What Is Cardiovascular Fitness?

Cardiovascular fitness, also known as cardiovascular endurance or cardiovascular health, refers to the ability of the lungs, heart, and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to the muscles and to remove waste products through the respiratory and circulatory systems during continuous physical activity.

You can improve cardiovascular health through physical activity and exercise that increases the heart rate for an extended period. Such type of activity is known as aerobic exercise, which can include running, cycling, swimming, and walking, which you can do on a treadmill.

What Is Cardiovascular Fitness?

Why Is Cardiovascular Fitness Important?

It is the cardiovascular fitness benefits which make it vital for anyone. Once you know its benefits, you will understand why it is that important. 

Improved Heart Health

Regular cardiovascular exercise can help to improve the function of the heart and circulatory system. It can help lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of stroke. 

Increased Endurance

Cardiovascular fitness can help to increase the efficiency of the body's ability to use oxygen, which can help to improve endurance. Adopting this can help athletes who need to sustain physical activity for long periods. 

Weight Management

Cardiovascular exercise can help to burn calories, which can be helpful for weight management and weight loss. By burning calories through exercise, it can be easier to create a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss. 

Fitness Trackers

Improved Mental Health

Exercise, in general, including the right cardiovascular exercise, reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help to improve mood and overall mental health and even increase your lifespan. 

Better Sleep

Regular cardiovascular exercise can help to improve sleep quality and quantity. Exercise can help to tire out the body, making it convenient to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Better Sleep - Cardiovascular fitness

Improved Cognitive Function

Research on cardiovascular fitness suggests that regular exercise can improve cognitive function and help to reduce the risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia. It may be because exercise can help improve blood flow to the brain and increase the production of certain brain chemicals involved in cognitive function. 

Enhanced Daily Functioning

Cardiovascular fitness can help to improve the ability to perform daily chores, such as carrying groceries or playing with children. When the body is fit, it can perform physical tasks more easily and with less fatigue. 

How to Measure Cardiovascular Fitness?

There are several ways to measure cardiovascular fitness. Some common methods entail: 

VO2 Max Test

A trained professional typically conducts VO2 Max Test in a lab setting. It involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike while wearing a mask that measures the amount of oxygen you inhale and exhale. The intensity of the exercise gradually increases until you reach your maximum level of exertion. Your VO2 max is then calculated based on the oxygen you use. 

Resting Heart Rate

To calculate your resting heart rate, find your pulse (either at your wrist or neck) and count the beats in 15 seconds. Multiply that number by four to get your resting heart rate in beats per minute. A normal resting heart rate is typically 60-100 beats per minute, but highly trained athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.

Resting Heart Rate - Cardiovascular fitness

Cooper Test

You will need a flat, open space and a stopwatch to complete the Cooper test. Start the stopwatch and begin running. Try to run as far as you can in 12 minutes. When the time is up, stop running and measure the distance you covered. Some online calculators can estimate your VO2 max based on your performance on the Cooper test. 

Step Test

You will need a bench or step and a metronome to complete the step test. Set the metronome to a specific number of beats per minute (usually 96 - 108). Begin stepping up or down on the bench or step in time with the metronome. The test typically takes 3 minutes, and the number of steps you can complete in that time estimates your cardiovascular health and fitness.

Rockport Walking Test

To complete the Rockport walking test, you will need a flat, one-mile course and a stopwatch. Walk the course as quickly as possible, keeping a check on the time it takes you to complete the mile. Some online calculators can estimate your VO2 max based on your performance on the Rockport walking test.

Rockport Walking Test

How To Improve Cardiovascular Fitness?

Since you are aware of everything about cardiovascular fitness, let’s now discuss how you can improve it. There are several ways to improve cardiovascular fitness. It is better to engage in aerobic exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming. You must aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

In addition, interval training can help too. It involves alternating between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises. This type of training can be more effective at improving cardiovascular fitness than steady-state cardio. It will be better if you use a fitness tracker to keep track of your exercises.

It is vital that you have a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, as that can help support cardiovascular health. Also, drinking enough water is important for maintaining proper cardiovascular function.

Apart from this, chronic stress can have negative effects on cardiovascular health as well. Try techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and exercise to help manage stress.

Lastly, consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

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