About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Font : A-A+

What is Cardiorespiratory Fitness?

Cardiorespiratory fitness or cardiovascular fitness refers to the health of the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems. These levels of fitness are gauged in the context of oxygen that can be supplied to various skeletal muscles, during periods of sustained physical activity. Cardiorespiratory exercises and workouts are not just important for weight loss, but they help improve the functioning of the heart and lungs.


Regular cardio exercises and physical activity can help improve the efficiency of the heart and circulatory system as it results in enlarging of the heart muscle. This not only allows more blood to be pumped with each contraction, but it also increases muscle function, endurance and stamina, as there is a corresponding increase in the number of small arteries within the muscles that are targeted in the fitness regime.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Cardiorespiratory fitness is of utmost importance today, as lifestyle diseases like cardiac disease are becoming increasingly widespread as a result of inactive/sedentary lifestyles. Respiratory function is enhanced with exercise as more oxygen is inhaled and circulated through the body. When the heart and lungs function more efficiently, human body can withstand higher levels of stress, significantly reducing the risk of several chronic illnesses. Regular physical activity, which is essential for cardiorespiratory fitness also helps prevent and lower the risk of several conditions like obesity, hypertension, and high cholesterol, which would otherwise elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease. Controlling body fat and keeping a check on obesity, also help reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Cardiovascular fitness doesn’t necessarily imply daily visits to the gym and running on a treadmill. There are several ways in which one can incorporate cardio exercises into everyday routine:


Swimming and Bicycling

Swimming and bicycling are great activities to include as part of the regular fitness routine. While swimming and cycling will help burn calories, they also help build muscle and promote circulation. As with walking and running, one should gradually increase the duration and intensity of the activity. Cycling is especially great for developing the leg muscles, but to increase the intensity of the workout, try to cycle up an incline. Swimming with alternating strokes is a complete body workout and will significantly boost endurance levels and stamina.

Bicycling a Part of Regular Fitness Routine

Walking or Jogging

Walking, and running are fitness activities that constitute cardiorespiratory exercise, but they need to be regularly performed for stable durations to boost cardiovascular endurance. To get started, one should begin by walking at a moderate pace for ten to fifteen minutes each day. As the body adjusts to the activity, start to increase the duration and intensity of walk gradually. Add five minutes to the exercise time each week and slowly pick up the pace as well. Keep doing this until each session spans, at least half an hour to 45 minutes.

Aerobics Classes

Aerobics classes can be great fun with their blend of exercises and dance, helping to build cardiorespiratory endurance, while having a great time. Aerobic classes with step and dance activities can be quite an intense workout, but as usual, the person needs to progress gradually. Always make sure to only train with a certified fitness instructor. Such classes usually last for around an hour. Arm movements and choreographed movements that form part of the routine will also help tone the upper body muscles.


Dance Sessions

If you hate walking, jogging, or cycling down city streets, but love dancing, you should consider signing up for dance classes with styles like salsa and rumba. Some dance instructors, in fact, specialize in aerobic group exercise classes and every session will be a grueling workout. As with other aerobic activities, like walking or swimming, one need to increase the duration and intensity of workouts over time for continued cardiorespiratory benefits.

Dance Sessions In Cardio Fitness Training

Martial Arts or Kickboxing

Kickboxing and certain martial arts workouts with styles like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo will test one’s endurance and give an intense cardio workout. Just three hours of time spent kickboxing each week will burn roughly 2,100 calories! Almost all types of martial arts will work on the muscular strength of the entire body, not just the upper or lower body muscles. In addition to improving the cardiovascular fitness levels, the individual will also gain a whole new set of self-defense skills.

All of these activities can be described as aerobic, and for them to be effective, one should be able to experience an increase in heart rate and deep breathing. At the same time, it should not be too strenuous that you lose breath and cannot have a conversation with an exercise companion. In case, one has a high fitness level, they need to push a bit more far to improve cardio-respiratory function, indulging in high-intensity activities that are classified as anaerobic exercise as well. Unlike aerobic activities that rely on oxygen supply from respiration, anaerobic activities utilize energy stores in the muscles.

Remember that physical activity should also follow a heart healthy diet to reap all of the benefits of the exercise routine.

Heart Healthy Diet


  1. Aerobic Exercise - (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/getting_fit/hic_Exercise_Basics/hic_Aerobic_Exercise)
  2. Cardiorespiratory fitness - (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiorespiratory_fitness)

Latest Publications and Research on Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Shaun DMello. (2018, June 15). Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness. Medindia. Retrieved on May 28, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/essentials-of-cardiorespiratory-fitness.htm.

  • MLA

    Shaun DMello. "Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness". Medindia. May 28, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/essentials-of-cardiorespiratory-fitness.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Shaun DMello. "Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/essentials-of-cardiorespiratory-fitness.htm. (accessed May 28, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Shaun DMello. 2021. Essentials of Cardiorespiratory Fitness. Medindia, viewed May 28, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/essentials-of-cardiorespiratory-fitness.htm.

Do you wish to consult a Cardiologist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Paresh Patel
Dr. Paresh Patel
8 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Dr. Vijaysinh Patil
Dr. Vijaysinh Patil
5 years experience
Wockhardt Hospital in Nashik, Renuka Nagar
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Dr. Srinivasa Prasad
Dr. Srinivasa Prasad
MBBS, MD, DM Cardiology, Post DM Fellowship, FSCAI
21 years experience
Apoorva Superspeciality Medical Centre, Jayanagar
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Dr. Yogi Sundharrao
Dr. Yogi Sundharrao
6 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Health Topics A - Z

    What's New on Medindia
    Monkeypox Outbreak: What it is, How Does it Spread & the Prevention
    Seasonal Allergy Medications
    How to Choose the Best Eczema-Friendly Moisturizer for Children?
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    The Essence of Yoga Diaphragmatic Hernia Accident and Trauma Care Iron Intake Calculator Find a Doctor How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Post-Nasal Drip A-Z Drug Brands in India Hearing Loss Calculator Blood Donation - Recipients

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use