cardiorespiratory endurance
Examples of cardiorespiratory endurance activities include high-intensity aerobic exercises, such as swimming, running, cycling, and jumping rope.

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability to perform physical activities by engaging large muscle groups and the whole body at moderate to high intensities for extended periods.

A component of physical fitness, cardiorespiratory endurance (Vo2-maximum) is referred to as aerobic fitness and aerobic capacity.

Examples of activities that improve cardiorespiratory endurance are aerobic activities, which include:

3 aerobic exercises that can be performed at home

Here are 3 aerobic exercises that can be easily performed at home:

Jumping jacks

  1. Stand tall and upright with your legs joined together and arms by the sides of your body.
  2. Jump up with your legs opened, feet spread wide apart, and arms above your head.
  3. While landing on the ground, bring the feet and arms back to the starting position.
  4. Do three sets of 10 repetitions at a time, and gradually increase the pace.

Jogging in place

  1. Jog in place, lifting your knees as high as you can.
  2. Another way is to bring your feet back and up, taking them as high as to try to reach your butt.
  3. Repeat for about 30 minutes.

Mountain climbers (running planks)

  1. Mountain climbers are not only a core-strengthening exercise but also a form of cardio. An intense form of the plank exercise, mountain climbers are great calorie-busters.
  2. Get into a plank position. Make sure your arms are shoulder-width apart, the abdomen is tucked in and the spine is straight.
  3. Bring your right knee toward your chest as near as you can. Push it back to its original position while bringing the left knee toward your chest. The exercise looks as if you are climbing a mountain, hence the name.
  4. Keep performing these moves as fast as you can.

Try to do each of the aerobic exercises for at least a minute and do not forget to breathe deeply while doing so. Take a 30-second break in between each exercise and start again.

To improve cardiorespiratory endurance, you can gradually increase the duration and exercise intensity. Workout for at least 30 minutes per day, three to seven days per week.

What are the benefits of improved cardiorespiratory endurance?

Improving cardiorespiratory endurance typically causes your breathing and heart rate to increase while doing physical activities. Healthy adults can use aerobic fitness for better muscular endurance and cardiorespiratory fitness, as well as improve their overall lifestyle balance.

The benefits of performing high-intensity exercises that target cardiovascular endurance include:

  • Better functioning of the heart and lungs
  • Maintenance of health of your blood and blood vessels, which help circulate blood
  • A lowered resting heart rate
  • Reduced risk of peripheral arterial disease
  • Building stronger working muscle groups, ligaments, tendons, and bones
  • Greater utilization of fat as an energy source
  • Better strength and stamina (no undue fatigue while performing less intense activities, such as brisk walking, stair climbing, and home chores)
  • Comfort in performing light- to moderate-intensity exercise for extended periods
  • Lowered risk of diseases, including:
  • Stronger bones
  • Lowered stress levels and mood enhancement
  • Improved immune system

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Medically Reviewed on 11/2/2021
Image Source: Kosamtu / Getty Images

Committee on Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; Pate R, Oria M, Pillsbury L, editors. Fitness Measures and Health Outcomes in Youth. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012 Dec 10. 5, Health-Related Fitness Measures for Youth: Cardiorespiratory Endurance. Available from: