Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gym in Singapore.
Cardiovascular endurance is one of the most overlooked yet highly important aspects of physical performance. Whether you’re climbing a flight of stairs or training for your next martial arts competition, having a good gas tank is always a good thing to have.
The average person often overlooks the importance of cardiovascular endurance. This should not be the case because having good cardio is a great indicator of health. This article will talk about the importance of cardiovascular endurance – what it is and what we need to do to improve it.
What Is Cardiovascular Endurance?
Cardiovascular endurance refers to the measure of the ability of the heart, lungs, and other parts of the cardiovascular system to function together to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide for an extended period during whole-body physical activities.
Here are five reasons why you should work on your cardiovascular endurance.
1) Perform Physical Activities Much Longer
Having good cardio endurance allows you to perform at a much higher intensity for longer periods of time. This is exceptionally important when you’re training or working out, even more so if you are an athlete or an aspiring one.
2) Minimize The Risk Of Developing Heart Disease
Improving your cardio endurance can greatly reduce the possibility of developing heart disease by increasing the efficiency of your heart, lungs, and overall cardiovascular system. One of the reasons is mainly because your heart has to expend less effort to pump blood through your blood vessels, which means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.
3) Regulate Your Hormonal Profile
Keeping your body under the stress of non-stop cardio exercise or workout improves your hormonal profile by forcing adjustments. It does this by discharging endorphins and other hormones needed to regulate your body’s ability to maintain the exercises.
4) Improve Your Recovery
If you’re having restless nights when trying to sleep, try a cardio workout. Studies of chronic sleep disorders have shown that regular cardio exercise is an effective way to battle sleeplessness.
Be careful, though; an intense workout too close to bedtime may make it difficult to fall asleep. Try to stop your activity at least two to three hours before bedtime.
5) Control Your Weight
It is a known fact that diet and exercise are key components of weight loss. However, cardio-intensive workouts alone can also help you lose weight and maintain it. Cardio exercises require a lot of energy, this means that they will help you shed the pounds if done correctly and with proper consistency.
The longer your training session is, the more calories you burn. When the available glucose in the blood is depleted, the body will rely on burning excess fat, therefore increasing the chances of successful weight loss.
Ways To Improve Cardiovascular Endurance
Now that we have shared the benefits of improving your cardiovascular endurance, here are some ways to improve it.
1) Consume Foods That Help Your Cardiovascular Endurance
Studies show that eating the right amount of carbohydrates (CHO) such as rice, pasta, bread can help improve your cardio. This is because cardiovascular activities mainly rely on carbohydrates to provide the energy needed, so consuming the proper amount can be beneficial.
Pair this with high protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, and you will surely notice a difference in your cardio.
2) Have A List Of Cardio Exercises You Enjoy Doing
It is essential to be active if ever you plan on building your cardiovascular base. The good thing about building your cardio base is you can choose a variety of exercises. To help you get started, you can begin by slowly integrating these exercises to your routine: running, jump rope, and burpees.
Running is one of the most essential exercises for building good cardio endurance. Running improves your aerobic capacity and strengthens the diaphragm, allowing you to breathe in more air. It is also very convenient because almost anyone can do it anywhere as long as there are roads to run to.
If you want to improve your cardio endurance, then running should be high on your list, as it is one of the easiest and most accessible activity for anyone. Running at least twice a week is a good place to start.
Jump rope is another good exercise that improves your cardio endurance and can be used as an alternative to running since you need some space to run (unless you have a treadmill).
So if you find yourself unable to run due to time or space constraints, a jump rope is a good go-to exercise for you. Doing jump rope exercises for 5 to 10 minutes is optimal for beginners; you can gradually increase the time as you progress.
Burpees are a fantastic whole-body exercise that dramatically improves your cardio endurance. As with running and jumping rope, it is also a cost-efficient way to improve your cardio, and it is an exercise that you can do almost anywhere.
Start by doing at least 20 burpees per set, and complete 3 sets per workout. You can gradually increase the number of repetitions and sets as you improve.
3) Amp Up The Intensity With HIIT
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a combination of high intensity work intervals and low intensity recovery phases. HIIT training can be as effective and efficient as traditional medium intensity endurance exercise in improving cardiovascular endurance, burning fat, and improving insulin sensitivity.
One of the most effective HIIT workouts is Interval sprinting/jogging, and it is also one of the simplest of HIIT workouts. One of the ways to do this is the 1 to 3 ratio (you can adjust the ratio to suit your needs); to do this, you can sprint for 15 seconds, then jog or walk for 45 seconds. This can be one of the easiest ways to improve your cardio, or be modified into one of the most intense.
Fight-specific HIIT can also be very beneficial if you are training for combat sports since it simulates the activity and pace of a fight. This is one of the reasons why almost all combat sports athletes and coaches unanimously agree that HIIT is one of the most effective forms of training for improving cardio endurance. Apply whatever ratio you want or need.
Having a healthy cardiovascular endurance improves your health, day-to-day life, physical and mental function. You should never overlook improving your cardiovascular endurance, as it is one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal.