Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular Exercises

Promoting Heart Health Through Fitness and Training

Cardiovascular exercise is one of a few keys to strengthening the heart and creating an optimally flowing bloodstream. After all, the heart is the muscle delivering health and healing qualities to all of the other muscles in the body, as well as other vital organs, so it only makes sense that it is well taken care of.

Cardiovascular Exercises Defined

Cardiovascular exercise is defined as any aerobic activity pushing the heart from 55 to 85 percent of its maximum rate. Anyone attempting new forms of exercise or an exercise regimen for the first time should consult with their doctor for simple determinations of maximum heart rate and target heart rate. 

Types of Cardiovascular Exercises

There are numerous activities that can be enjoyed (or combined in multitasking fashion) as cardiovascular exercises. Cardio health can be increased through 20 minutes of combined cardiovascular exercise, three times a week. This means even short sessions of cardio a few times a day are helpful. Here are a few great examples of how to increase cardiovascular health.

Gym Activities

There are many things you can do at a gym to increase cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular exercises include treadmill running, elliptical running, stationary bike, stair stepper, circuit training, aerobics classes, plyometric exercises, jumping rope, interval training and more. Gyms often have training available to offer direction and help when you're looking to expand your cardiovascular exercise repertoire. 


Competitive sports are another way to enjoy wonderful cardiovascular benefits. Sports such as basketball, track and field, soccer, football, flag football, swimming, water polo, boxing, martial arts, hockey, lacrosse, tennis and racquetball are all great examples of cardiovascular exercises that can be enjoyed competitively. The great thing about sports is that they provide the opportunity to have fun while also getting the benefits of exercise. 

Outdoor Activities

Getting into the great outdoors, there are many other activities that serve to boost cardiovascular health. Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, skiing, skateboarding, roller skating, ice skating, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking and canoeing are all great options for getting the heart rate elevated over extended periods of time. These healthy activities may serve as a better fit for lifestyle choices, as opposed to visiting a gym several times during the week. 

Turning Household Chores Into Cardiovascular Exercises

If you feel like you don't have enough time to get your cardiovascular exercise in, then consider adding an extra level of hustle to some common household chores, with little or no rest in between. Scrubbing floors, vacuuming, yard work, gardening, washing the car and shoveling snow -- these are all great examples of cardiovascular exercises and great options for individuals as they get older, and less likely to be involved in more vigorous, sport-related activities.

Find out how food plays a role in heart health in the next article of our series, Cardiovascular Health Food.