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How to Increase Cardio Stamina

author image Nicole Hogan-Jenkins
Nicole Hogan-Jenkins began writing professionally in 2010. She is a certified personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, fitness business owner and competitive fitness athlete. Hogan holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.
How to Increase Cardio Stamina
Woman running on treadmill Photo Credit Estudi M6/iStock/Getty Images

Do you have a hard time catching your breath after taking the stairs? You may need to build your cardiovascular endurance. Stamina is our ability to sustain prolonged activity. We live in a sedentary society. Elevators help you avoid the stairs. Valets prevent you from having to walk from your car. Aerobic or endurance activities improve the heart’s ability to circulate oxygenated blood and the body’s ability to use oxygen, states Harvard Medical School. Fortunately you can increase your cardio stamina by following a simple workout routine.

Step 1

Assess your current level of stamina. Try running or walking for one mile and record your time. Repeat on a weekly basis. Aim to increase your speed and lower your time every week.

Step 2

Perform slow long distance cardio. Jog or walk for 60 minutes twice per week at a low intensity. Gauge your intensity by using the talk test. You should be able to hold a conversation without being too winded. According to Sports Fitness Advisor, this form of aerobic endurance training improved cardiovascular and thermoregulatory function, improved mitochondrial energy production, increased oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle and increased utilization of fat for fuel.

Step 3

Try circuit training. Circuit training involves planning eight to 10 different activities and then performing each activity for one to three minutes before moving on to the next. Set your dumbbells at one end of the room, your kettlebells or resistance bands at another and your aerobic step platform at another. Your elliptical or rowing machine can also act as stations, if you have them. Perform cardio activities like running on the spot and jumping jacks in between activities that require equipment. Because there is little to no rest in between exercises, your heart rate stays elevated for the entire workout improving cardiovascular health.

Step 4

Take the assessment in Step 1 to chart your progress after executing this program for 30 days,

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