1. Three cardiovascular tests to take
Cardiovascular endurance is not only referred in reference to your heart health. It is a broad term, which measures how well you can perform a rhythmic, dynamic activity at a moderate to high intensity for an extended time. It does not only involve your heart but is a collective effort by your lungs as well your muscles. Improving your cardiovascular endurance can improve your physical and mental well-being, making it easier for you to carry out your daily tasks. It is an effective way to lessen your risk of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
2. Measuring the cardiovascular endurance
To improve your cardiovascular endurance, first, you need to measure it. That involves carefully examining how well the body takes in and utilises oxygen.
When you fill your lungs with air during the respiration process, some oxygen passes into the bloodstream. The oxygen-rich blood then travels to the heart and circulates to different parts of the body. Your muscles also require an adequate amount of oxygen, along with other nutrients to function properly for an extended period. Lack of any of the two can lead to fatigue and affect your performance. Here are three ways to measure your cardiovascular endurance.
3. Resting heart rate
The fitter the person, the lower will be his/her resting heart rate. To measure the resting heart rate you do not require any piece of equipment. Just keep your finger on your pulse and count it for 10 seconds, then multiply it by six. The normal resting heart rates range from 60 to 100. You can also take this reading using a heart rate monitoring machine. The ideal time to do it is in the morning or before going to bed. The major disadvantage of using this method to measure the heart rate is that some people naturally have a low or high heart rate and not much difference would be visible in it upon training.
4. Rockport test
The Rockport fitness walking test is used to determine the VO2 max, a measure of how well your body uses oxygen. The higher your number will be, the higher your endurance. In this, the participants have to walk for 1 mile as fast as possible then record their pulse rate for a minute. Then put the minute score, the time it took to complete the test, age and your weight into a standard formula to get your score.
This test is easy, inexpensive, suitable for all and gives more accurate results. However, it is not for those who are already fit as it would be too easy for them to perform this test.
5. Treadmill test
Treadmill test is a bit more complex than the other two. So, it is usually administered by a professional at a gym or a lab. Besides, you are required to work out at high intensity, which might not be possible for all.
First is the grading test which involves an extended interval on the treadmill while monitoring blood pressure and heart rhythms.
Second is the Bruce protocol test which also involves working on a treadmill while your heart rate, blood pressure, and perceived exertion are monitored.
Both of these tests are accurate, but costly.
6. How to improve your cardiovascular endurance
Cardiovascular endurance can be improved by performing some simple exercises. Studies suggest that resistance training, endurance training, and high-intensity interval training can help to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength among adults aged between 40–65 years. Exercises that accelerate your heart rate quickly like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, running or jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing and boxing are some excellent choices to boost your cardio health.