Cardiorespiratory Endurance

Why is it important?
Cardiorespiratory endurance is one of the most important components of physical fitness. Cardiorespiratory endurance is usually measured in terms of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) or peak VO2. VO2max is the rate of oxygen uptake during maximal aerobic aerobic exercise and reflects the capacity of the heart, lungs, and blood to transport oxygen to the working muscles and the utilization of oxygen by the muscles during exercise. Benefits of aerobic exercise include: reduction in hypertension, increased HDL cholesterol, decreased total cholesterol, decreased body fat stores, decreased anxiety and depression, decreased incidence of some cancers and reduced all-cause mortality.
How to measure
Cardiorespiratory endurance can be measured using a variety of modes of exercise. Submaximal exercise protocols can use treadmills, bicycle ergometers or bench steps. Demonstration on how to measure cardiorespiratory endurance using a step test.
How to improve
Guidelines for exercise prescription for improved health
Mode: Select endurance-type physical activities, including formal aerobic exercise training, house and yard work, and physically active, recreational pursuits
Intensity: Prescribe at least moderate intensity physical activities (>45% VO2max)
Duration: Accumulate at least 30 minutes of activity each day
Frequency: Schedule physical activity for most, preferably all, days of the week

ACSM guidelines for exercise prescription for cardiorespiratory fitness
Mode Select rhythmical aerobic activities that can be maintained continuously and involve large muscle groups
Intensity Prescribe intensities between 60 - 90% of maximum heart rate or 50 - 85% of VO2max. For individuals with very low initial cardiorespiratory fitness, use intensities of 40 - 50% VO2max.
Duration Schedule 20 - 60 minutes of continuous aerobic activity, depending on the intensity
Frequency Schedule exercise three to five days a week

Developed by Eric Hall