Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises

Cardiovascular Endurance Exercises
Whether you plan to hike, swim or get involved with new sports activities, it's good to have strong cardiovascular endurance. Cardiovascular endurance exercises help to improve the ability of the circulatory and respiratory system to withstand physical activity for longer periods. The exercises begin with a slow paced warm-up that builds up over the first 5 to 10 minutes. Exercises are done for at least 20 minutes, and up to 40 minutes for those who wish to lose weight while improving endurance. Cardiovascular activities are done at least three times a week for effective results. Exercises vary between strenuous and not so strenuous.

Running or Jogging

Running and jogging can be used separately or in combination to increase cardiovascular endurance. These exercises are good for those who aren't prone to joint injuries and want a high-impact, high-intensity workout. The benefit of running and jogging is that no special equipment or memberships are needed. It can be done at a gym, in the woods or around your home. Beginners can gain cardiovascular endurance quickly by doing half-minute intervals of jogging followed by running. Beginners can work up to being able to run 20 minutes by doing these intervals for 5 minutes the first three workouts, and increasing the time by a minute after every third workout thereafter. Running and jogging also exercises the calves, hamstrings and gluteal muscles.


Bicycling is a good alternate exercise for runners that wish to increase endurance but also want a change in activity. It is a non-impact exercise, unlike running where your foot rises and then hits the floor. Some non-impact exercises may be better for those with disabilities or illness. Bicycling also works to develop the muscles in the entire lower body.


Swimming is not only good for cardiovascular endurance, but helps the endocrine and metabolic system, as well. It's a good exercise for those who wish to put less emphasis on their leg muscles since it mostly focuses on the arm muscles. However, swimming is a non-impact exercise that can help to exercise the entire body. It is a particularly good exercise for those recovering from an injury or illness, or those who are injured or overweight. Swimming can be used to tone and strengthen the muscles, and it is good for burning calories.

Inline Skating

Inline skating works out slightly different muscles than running and jogging. The exercise also uses the legs, but more focus is put on the hip muscles, buttocks, shins and quadriceps in the upper legs. Inline skating is a good way to build endurance, and it can compliment running if you wish to get more of an overall workout of your lower body muscles.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing has the greatest capacity to increase cardiovascular endurance. It is more intense than running and is considered one of the most intense cardiovascular workouts. Aerobic capacity is increased because of the amount of oxygen that is needed during the exercise. Cross-country skiing also strengthens the shoulders, abdomen, hips and quadriceps.

Article Written By Robin Coe

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.