Maximizing Your Cardio-Respiratory System | Why It's So Important
We all know that to have a healthy body, you must have a healthy heart. The best way to exercise your heart is through cardio activity. This, ultimately, improves your entire cardio-respiratory system.
Our cardiorespiratory system involves both the heart and the blood vessels. When you have a low level of cardio fitness, this means that your heart isn’t pumping blood and oxygen as efficiently as it should through the body.
Let’s dive in a bit deeper to understand how you can maximize your cardiorespiratory system.
Cardio Fitness and Your Health
You may have heard the terms “cardio fitness” or “Vo2 Max”. Both of these refer to the body’s ability to use and transport oxygen while exercising. The better your ability to transport oxygen, the more “fit” you are – which means you are maximizing your cardio-respiratory system!
How To Measure Your Cardio Fitness
If you have a smartwatch, you may easily have access to a rating of your cardio fitness levels. Smartwatches have the ability to monitor your heart rate during exercise and can track trends between high bursts of expended energy and your recovery time.
If you don’t have a watch, there are still ways to measure your cardio fitness. One of the best ways is to see your cardiologist or other medical professional and they can administer a routine test to get a sense of where you lie on the Vo2 Max scale.
What a Maximized Cardio-Respiratory System Does
Now, you may be wondering – how does cardio fitness actually affect my health? It matters a lot more than you think.
The ultimate goal when aiming for a high level of fitness is for your heart to not have to work as hard while completing tasks.
For example, someone who trains in running marathons isn’t only training their musculature, but also their heart. They’re able to run an entire marathon while keeping their heart rate in a safely measured zone.
Now, if someone who doesn’t train in running marathons attempted to run one, their heart wouldn’t be used to this level of exertion – and most likely would be beating at an unsafe level.
People who don’t look after their health may notice that their heart has to work extremely hard to do daily tasks. If you notice that your heart rate is getting high while bringing your groceries in, walking up a couple of steps, or even taking a brisk walk – that means it’s time to start taking your cardiovascular health a bit more seriously.
How To Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Improving your cardio-respiratory system starts with one simple thing: movement.
Moving your body is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. Your heart is a muscle, and working your heart muscle is no different from working your biceps, quads, or abdominals.
The best way to improve your heart health is through aerobic exercise. The term aerobic means “requiring oxygen”. Let’s explore different types of aerobic exercise that you can incorporate into your weekly routine.
Types of Exercises
This exercise is a good challenge for the heart, as it gets your heart rate up high and keeps it high. Jumping rope for just 10 minutes a day can help train your endurance fairly quickly.
Swimming is a great option for people who need movement that’s easy on the joints. The buoyancy of the water helps protect your body, while the resistance of the water elevates your heart rate while moving through.
Kickboxing is a workout that strengthens your entire body. It’s a type of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), which brings the heart rate up quickly and then gives it a chance to come back down after a burst of movement. This trains the body to recover more efficiently.
Walking for 30-60 minutes per day is a wonderful way to get your cardiovascular health in check. When walking at a brisk pace, your heart rate is kept at an elevated level that isn’t too high or too low. It’s a great, even-keeled way to strengthen your heart.
There are lots of different ways that you can improve your cardiorespiratory system. Download the OOMPH App to get access to hundreds of workouts, nutrition guides, and even meditations that will help you achieve your optimum overall health.