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Pump It Up with Cardio Exercise

Pump It Up with Cardio Exercise

What is my cardiorespiratory system?
What are the benefits of good cardiorespiratory health?
What's the best cardiorespiratory workout?
Before you start

Cardiorespiratory exercise isn't as complicated as it sounds. In fact, cardiorespiratory exercise is also known as aerobics. You have probably heard that word a million times. But don't worry. Doing cardioexercise doesn't mean you have to do shiny-Spandex, fuzzy-leg-warmers, dancing-to-the-oldies aerobics. It just means moving your body hard enough and fast enough to raise your heart rate.

Mountain biking. Kickboxing. Swimming. Any activity you like that gets your heart rate to hit your target heart rate zone is considered cardiorespiratory. And you don't have to run a marathon or dance like you're in a music video to "get aerobic." Keep in mind that doing cardioexercise is also a great way to burn fat. back to top

What is my cardiorespiratory system?
Your cardiorespiratory system is the center of your physical health. It is made up of three parts: your heart, your lungs, and your circulatory system. These parts all work together so that your lungs can deliver oxygen to your bloodstream and muscles. Your cardiorespiratory system is what makes it possible for you to move without getting tired. back to top

What are the benefits of good cardiorespiratory health?
There are lots of rewards for improving your aerobic capacity with cardioexercise.
  • You'll be able to move, dance, jump, and run faster.
  • Your endurance will increase. This means your muscles won't become tired as fast.
  • More oxygen-rich blood will circulate through your body, making you less tired and more alert.
  • You'll burn more calories.
And, cardioexercise is a great foundation for increasing your fitness level because you use your cardiorespiratory system in just about everything you do, from shopping to playing basketball. back to top

What's the best cardiorespiratory workout?
The best cardioexercise is the one you like to do most! That's because the type of exercise you choose, how often you exercise, how hard you work, and the amount of time you spend doing it all affect your results. In other words, the more you like the activity you choose, the more often you'll do it. And that's the first step to getting in shape.

It's up to you to decide whether that means getting into the groove with your favorite exercise video or signing up for volleyball after school. The most important thing to remember about cardioexercise is that it must raise your heart rate for at least 20 minutes for you to get the full benefit.

Examples of cardioexercise include:
  • walking and jogging
  • swimming
  • basketball
  • bicycling
  • fast dancing
  • kickboxing
  • hiking
  • step aerobics back to top
Before you start
Before you lace up your running shoes and race out the door, walk or jog for three to five minutes to warm up your body. Once your body feels warm, do some gentle stretching before kicking it into high gear. Check your heart rate during your activity to make sure that it is within your target heart rate zone for at least 20 minutes. Then cool down by slowing your movements for the final five to 10 minutes of your workout. It's safe to stop once your heart rate slows down, you are breathing easily, and you can carry on a conversation without difficulty. back to top

Last Modified Date: 3/27/2001
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