Fitness & Exercise

Exercises To Improve The Cardiovascular System

Exercises To Improve The Cardiovascular System
Written by Guest Author

Cardiovascular exercises are there to improve your overall fitness. These exercises improve beats per minute and lung capacity, allowing you to perform physical activity for longer. 

In this article, we will discuss the positives of cardiovascular exercises, including different workouts that you can perform to improve your overall fitness. We will also talk about the tests that measure cardiorespiratory endurance

What Is The Cardiovascular System? 

The cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is where oxygenated blood is pumped around the body to your muscles through the arteries. Deoxygenated blood is pumped through the arteries back to the heart, and the entire process starts again. 

Cardiovascular fitness is there to measure how well your cardiovascular system performs. Additionally, it includes checks to see how well blood is pumped around the body. 

When breathing, the air we inhale contains oxygen. Once this is in the body, oxygen is pumped around the body and to the heart. Once this reaches the heart, oxygenated blood is pumped through the arteries to muscles and organs which require it. 

During exercises, our body requires more oxygen compared to when we are resting. For example, if you are performing high-intensity workouts, your muscles and organs will need more oxygen, hence why your body begins to breathe heavily. If the oxygen and nutrients that the muscles require don’t get pumped to the body, the body will produce lactic acid, which causes the muscles to fatigue. 

How Is It Measured?

Two ways that cardiorespiratory endurance is measured are with metabolic equivalents and maximum oxygen uptake. 

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Metabolic Equivalents 

Also known as METs is the ratio between the energy that is spent during a workout and the energy that is spent during physical performance. To find the overall MET, oxygen is measured when the body is at rest. 

Maximum Oxygen Uptake

It is a test performed on athletes. To perform this test, a mask is placed on the athlete. They then sprint on a treadmill or wear this mask on a cycling machine, measuring the oxygen consumption. A chest strap will also be attached to the athlete, this measures the beats per minute of the athlete as they are performing the exercise. 

Why Are The Tests Important? 

These tests are mainly performed on athletes to see where their fitness levels are at. For example, tests for this will be performed on footballers during their pre-season to see if they are fit and ready for the season. It will also be tested on boxers training for an upcoming fight to see if they are on track. 

These tests are not just to benefit professional athletes. They are tested on the average person to see if their oxygen intake is where it should be. 

If somebody completes this test and results in them having high cardiorespiratory endurance, it generally means they can perform aerobic exercises longer. People who can perform these exercises for longer can burn more calories. 

How To Improve The Cardiovascular System

When improving your cardiovascular system, you need to ensure you are performing the right exercises. These will include endurance exercises that will raise your heartbeat. 

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Some people prefer HIIT training, and others enjoy long-distance running. However, there are many exercises you can perform to get the heart rate going. Swimming, running, and skipping are all basic exercises to get the heart rate going. Cycling is also a way to improve the heart rate. 

If you wish to improve your fitness, heart rate, and oxygen intake with a HIIT workout, there are some exercises that you should include. Star jumps(jumping jacks), burpees, mountain climbers, plyo box, and explosive squats will get the heart going. There are a lot more exercises which you can include. These are just some of the best for getting that heart pumping. 

Benefits Of A HIIT Workout

HIIT workout is good because it is fun and improves your fitness. One of the benefits of a HIIT workout is that it burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Additionally, thirty minutes of a HIIT workout burned 25% more calories compared to running, strength training, and biking. 

Another positive with these workouts is that they improve your metabolic rate for hours after. Not to mention it will help you burn fat and build muscle. 

If you are unsure about how you perform a HIIT workout, there are many ways to do it. Usually, it consists of 20 seconds of intense exercises and then a 10-second rest. If you are new to a HIIT workout, we advise you to go easy. Instead, perform exercises for 20 seconds, then follow it with a 40-second rest. 

Tips For Beginning Your HIIT Workout

As mentioned previously, there are several ways you can perform a HIIT workout. Moreover, you want to go easy but hard at the same time if you are new to this particular workout. Perform light workouts to ease back into exercise

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Pick an intensity which you are used to. For example, if you have not been running in a while, you should lightly jog during your HIIT exercise. 

If you suffer from joint pain, then do not worry. There are several low-impact exercises to counteract this, such as swimming and cycling

Ensure you are getting plenty of rest during your workout. For example, if you exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds or more. Don’t rest for too long, though, as your muscles can cool down. 

Start lightly – include a couple of exercises a week before beginning your HIIT workout as they are tiring. Furthermore, ensure you rest at least two days after each workout.


There are many exercises to improve your fitness, so don’t be shy with experimenting with your fitness levels. Furthermore, ensure you are pushing yourself to the limits to improve your heart rate and oxygen intake.  

Now that you are an expert with cardiovascular exercises, you can begin to improve your cardiovascular system. Find your favourite gym crop top and cycling shorts, and get yourself to the gym to improve your fitness. Good luck!

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