Cardiovascular Fitness – How it Works
Cardiovascular fitness is the cornerstone of any whole body fitness program. All physical activity depends on working muscles, and how efficient the cardiovascular system is in delivering oxygen to working muscle tissue has a direct impact on muscular endurance. If the heart, lungs, and vascular system are working efficiently to deliver that oxygen, prolonged
can be maintained. If not, the individual will soon tire and succumb to muscle weakness.
Each individual's ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles is affected by several physiological parameters. These include your heart rate, cardiac output, and maximal oxygen consumption. When you are delivering the maximum amount of oxygen possible to your muscles during exercise, the amount of oxygen you consume is referred to as your
When you increase your VO2max, cardiovascular fitness also increases.
Cardiovascular exercise (often referred to as cardiorespiratory endurance training) focuses on increasing the body's capacity to deliver oxygen to the working muscles through intense metabolic training. Metabolic training is divided into two types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. This training is designed to build up energy stores and allow for more efficient use of oxygen and muscle power during competition or intense physical activity.
Examples of aerobic training include physical activities such as
rowing, bicycling, jumping rope, or participating in sports where intense physical activity is almost nonstop (racquetball or handball). All of these require oxygen consumption to be increased during the activity and maintained for stretches of time.
Examples of anaerobic training include weightlifting,
(on machines or off) and exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups, where the body's own weight is used as resistance. A combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise is generally considered to be the best way to lose weight and build muscle as well as increase your endurance levels.
As your aerobic/anaerobic capacity increases, your general metabolism will rise, muscle metabolism will be enhanced, buffers in the bloodstream will increase, and your body will become better equipped to adapt to quickly changing demands on its abilities. As you continue metabolic training, your cardiovascular fitness will keep improving. You will see a direct and positive improvement in your
, and a noticeable effect on your muscle strength and flexibility.
Cardiovascular Fitness to Fitnesstempo
Cardiovascular Fitness to Exercise Training