Cardiorespiratory Endurance: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Cardiorespiratory Endurance

Cardiorespiratory endurance is a measure of how well your heart, lungs and muscles work together to keep you active over long, extended periods of time. As you become more active and participate in exercises that increase your respiratory function, such as heavy aerobic exercises, your cardiorespiratory function and endurance increases over time, in addition to your heart and lung strength. An easy way to fully understand how this works is to imagine as if you were a swimmer, holding your breath each day longer and longer, to withstand long periods of intense underwater swimming.

Cardiorespiratory endurance, according to, happens after the phosphogen and glycogen lactic acid system kicks in, which typically happens after the first 1.43.5 minutes of exercise or activity. Once you have reached the first minute and a half of cardio or aerobics exercise, the body then has to “find its energy from other areas around the body and then transport it to the areas it is needed, and this is done via the bloodstream.” This energy is typically from fat or protein. When the body finally reaches this stage, it typically feeds off of its own resources to fuel energy. (2)

Benefits from improving cardiorespiratory endurance as said by, is that the changes and rewards you can receive from staying active and improving your endurance will not only help you manage weight and keep it off, it will improve heart, lung and vascular health, in addition to improving posture from the activity. It will also reduce your risk for hypokinetic disease, especially heart disease and diabetes. As air enters the lungs, causing them to expand, oxygen is then transferred from the air and delivered directly to the blood, which then travels to bodily tissues. When you exhale, air then leaves the lungs, all the while your abdominal muscles and diaphragm work together to allow you to breathe in and out. When you have a good level, or trained endurance level of lung health, you will be able to take in larger amounts of oxygen in fewer breaths. As your lungs and heart continue to work, pumping blood throughout your body, it is known to reduce bad cholesterol. It can also reduce your risk of heart disease, eliminate inflammation in your arteries, and can further prevent blood clot formation. (4)

It can take a lot of conditioning through exercise and a lot of practice and discipline to dramatically improve your endurance. Much like stretching and maintaining flexibility, your cardiorespiratory endurance takes time, yet, much like stretching, it is very important to make sure your system is in just as good of shape as the rest of your body. As it turns out, when scientists actually test your cardiorespiratory function in a laboratory setting, as we mentioned, they test how well your heart and lungs deliver oxygen to your working muscles, so that they work harder when you are active. If your heart and lungs do not deliver enough “healthy” oxygen to your muscles, and your muscles don’t get enough of the nutrients you need, then waste products and toxins begin to build up in your muscle tissue. This can further cause fatigue, leaving you “too tired” to complete your exercise regimen so that you aren’t reaping any rewards from all of your hard work, and even more fatigued post work out. This all may make it even more difficult to withstand a daily workout routine.

Luckily, if you are worried about your cardiorespiratory endurance, you don’t necessarily have to see a doctor to test your endurance. Although it is always advised that you seek the opinion and evaluation of a medical professional to ensure physical health before you begin a rigorous workout routine, tells us that many gyms and health clubs offer submaximal cardiorespiratory endurance tests. These tests can further help you achieve your fitness goals by measuring how well you can perform in an aerobic exercise setting, as they are designed to measure your level of aerobic health.

These tests might include but are not limited to: step tests, bike tests, treadmill tests and outdoor fitness walking tests. These tests are typically administered through the assistance of a personal trainer. They assist your trainer in evaluating and observing how your heart rate changes during exercise. Depending on your results, your personal trainer can further give you an evaluation of their perception of your cardiorespiratory endurance with ideal ways to improve it, if improvement is necessary. These types of evaluations can also aid in deciding a workout plan for you. A person with a lower cardiorespiratory endurance would need to start off slow and steady when it comes to cardio, and increase intensity over time. If you are an athlete or someone who has a strong cardiorespiratory endurance level, chances are, you and your body can withstand more intense workouts at a healthier capacity.

For weight loss, cardiorespiratory endurance is important. In order to successfully burn calories, you need to be able to participate in aerobic activity. Aerobic and cardio activity are highly important when it comes to burning calories and losing weight. Furthermore, being able to remain physically active will always be an essential part of keeping the weight off for good.

Improving your cardiorespiratory endurance can actually be very simple. All you have to do is get active. Any type of cardio, aerobics, or any activity to get your blood pumping, will instantly improve your endurance. Whether it’s a light swim, walk or jog, any physical activity that requires deep heavy breathing, will overtime vastly improve your cardiorespiratory endurance. This is also definitely a great way to get started. Starting off slow and steady and increasing your workout slowly overtime will further prepare you for more intense rigorous workouts at a gym or with a personal trainer. Once those wheels are set in motion, you will definitely be on your way to healthier living, a more fit and active body, and most importantly better cardiorespiratory health, function, and fitness. 






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