Cardio-respiratory Endurance

DEFINITION
The body’s ability to better deliver and use oxygen during prolonged exercise of light to heavy intensity.

BENEFITS
With better cardio-respiratory endurance a person’s heart rate will be lowered which creates less stress for the heart during daily activities. Also it increases the capacity to respond to extra or unusual energy demands. The maximum amount of oxygen you can use during strenuous work usually decreases with age, but following a regular program of anaerobic activity or exercise can help maximize your cardio-respiratory capacity at any given age.

ADAPTATIONS
The cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are intimately linked to aerobic processes. Endurance training of sufficient intensity and duration produces changes in these systems that are both functional and physiological in nature. These changes include:

Exercise Intensity
Can be defined as the rate of work produced. The intensity can best be monitored through heart rate and your Rated Perceived Exertion or RPE (see definition and chart below).

Note --»Similar improvements may be achieved through low intensity exercise, long duration sessions as through high intensity, low duration sessions. Caution, the risk of injury increases with higher intensity. A low intensity level is recommended for those with a low initial level of fitness, persons with specific medical conditions, and persons with age concerns.

How to Find your Pulse
Place your first two fingers gently on the thumb side of the wrist with palm facing up. Press lightly until you feel the radial pulse. To find your carotid pulse place your first two fingers along side your trachea and press lightly until you feel the pulse. Count the beats felt in ten seconds and multiply by six to find your beats per minute. If taken after a period of rest, this is your resting heart rate. If taken immediately after a period of exercise this can help determine the intensity of that exercise.

How to Find your Maximum Heart Rate
220 - your age = maximum heart rate

How to Find your Training Heart Rate Range (Exercise Benefit Zone)
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends working between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Exercise Duration
Can be defined as how long you are working for a given exercise session. For improvements to occur the ACSM recommends 20-60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity. You may work at a high intensity for a short duration, or a low intensity for a longer duration.

CAUTION--»Long duration, high intensity exercise can be dangerous to your health and even life is you have not properly prepared for such exercise conditions or exercise loads.

Exercise Frequency
Can be defined as how often you exercise. 3-5 sessions a week are recommended. A 6th session has not been shown to produce significant improvements.

INITIAL FITNESS

EXERCISE
INTENSITY

EXERCISE
DURATION

EXERCISE
FREQUENCY

LOW
(sedentary individuals)

LOW
(heart rate at lowest end of their training range)

LONGER
(at least 30 minutes)

5-6 TIMES WEEKLY

MODERATE
(participate in some activity at least 2-3 times a week)

MODERATE TO HIGH
(heart rate at 70-80% of maximum heart rate)

SHORTER
(20-30 minutes)

3-5 TIMES WEEKLY

HIGH
(participate in some activity at least 4-5 times a week)

MODERATE TO HIGH

SHORT
(15-25 minutes)

3-5 TIMES WEEKLY

Exercise Mode
Can be defined as the activity you participate in. Running, bicycling, walking, swimming, stair climbing, and rowing are all beneficial to enhancing cardio-respiratory endurance. Initial fitness level determines the activities which should be included in an exercise program.

INITIAL FITNESS

ACTIVITIES FOR DAILY LIVING

SPORTS & RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES

LOW

GARDENING 30-40 min.

BOWLING

LOW

WALKING 1.75 miles in 35 min.

GOLF riding in a cart

MODERATE

RAKING LEAVES
30 min.

ULTIMATE FRISBEE

MODERATE

MOWING THE LAWN
30 min.

JUDO

HIGH

SHOVELING SNOW
15 min.

SKIING

HIGH

STAIRWALKING
15 min.

ROCK CLIMBING