When you start to work out, whether it’s your first time or just the first time in a while, you’ll go through some growing pains before the process gets a little bit easier. One of the biggest things that can bring a workout to a halt is running out of breath. Improving your cardiovascular endurance is key to getting the most out of a fitness regimen. As you work on your cardio, you strengthen your body’s consumption of oxygen. At CrossFit Stimulus, cardio is weaved through everything we do. We’ve gathered some of the best activities you can do to improve your endurance to keep you going.

-Running or Walking

The easiest forms of cardiovascular exercise, running or walking can be done anywhere at any time. When you go for a run or walk at least once a week, you improve your cardio endurance. You can start off small with this, as just 10–15 minutes a session can get the ball rolling. Once that starts to feel easier, you can gradually increase it by five minutes each week until you are consistently running or walking for 30–45 minutes each session. As you get more comfortable, try increasing the speed of your walk or run, or increase the distance to see even further improvement.

-Aerobics

If you are looking for a more social way to build up your cardiovascular endurance, aerobic classes are a great option. Not only does this get your blood pumping with fun routines, it gives you a chance to interact with other fitness enthusiasts. This builds a sense of camaraderie that can keep you going when you might have quit on your own. Most aerobics classes are taught by an instructor, last about 45 minutes to an hour, and involve fun music and challenging choreography. Aerobics will give you a chance to improve your overall strength in your upper body and legs, along with your endurance.

-Swimming and Bicycling

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing better than hitting the road on your bike. Swimming is a fun way to beat the heat while you get a workout in, too. Because biking and swimming require a constant effort, they are incredibly effective at improving cardiovascular endurance. Test your leg strength by tackling a big hill on your road bike. When swimming, try alternating which strokes you’re using every four laps to exercise different muscle groups while you build up your endurance.

-Exercise at Home

Many people find it difficult to fit exercise into their busy schedule, but there are quite a few ways that you can improve your endurance at home without sacrificing a lot of time. Something as simple as walking up and down your stairs for three 10-minute sessions can hugely improve your cardio. Another option is jumping on a mini-trampoline for the same amount of sessions. When you have alternatives to the gym or exercising outside, you’re in a better position to stay consistent when you can’t get out of the house. Consistency is key to any fitness routine’s success.

Improving your cardiovascular health ensures that oxygen and blood are effectively pumped through your body, which can have a huge impact on everything you do. From improving brain functions to strengthening your immune system, a strong cardiovascular system is the backbone of a healthy life. All it takes is 30 minutes of exercise a day to see results. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or an old pro looking to get back into the swing of things, a good fitness regimen can be the missing piece to your work out puzzle. Call us at CrossFit Stimulus in Newport News to learn more about the programs that we offer and get started today!