Certain types of exercise helps you improve your cardiovascular strength, or capacity, while others help you improve your endurance, or stamina. Endurance is your ability to perform physical activity over time. This helps you perform activity during a match or game, or helps you perform a longer exercise workout, such as a 30-minute aerobic exercise routine. If you are new to exercise, use goals to help you build your endurance.
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If you are just starting out with exercise, you may not be able to increase the intensity of your exercise for a week or more. You may be able to increase the length of your less strenuous exercise, which will help you increase endurance. While you are building your cardio fitness, keep track of how many blocks you power walk, or how many miles you cycle, roller blade or workout on an exercise machine. Many machines such as treadmills have digital monitors that let you track your distance.
Similar to distance goals, time goals let you keep track of increases in the amount of exercise you're doing by monitoring the number of minutes you work. If you are working at an intensity level that challenges, but does not physical fatigue you, keep track of the exact number of minutes you exercise each time you work out and set goals for increasing your time. You may not want to increase your time each session, to give your body a chance get used to the work you're doing before trying to work harder. Increasing your workout times in small increments every few days, or in five-minute blocs every week, after your cardiorespiratory system has become conditioned to your current workout, are both viable options for increasing your workouts.
Set Heart Rate Goals
Basic heart rate monitors are inexpensive and easy to use, and let you track your average heart rate, calories burned and minutes in your target heart rate zone during a workout. Set goals for improving your cardiorespiratory fitness using your heart rate as a guide.
The American Heart Association recommends moderately intense exercise for 30 minutes per session, five days per week; or vigorously intense exercise for 20 minutes per session, three times per week, to improve and maintain heart health. You can use heart rate training to stay in the proper range for the type of exercise you want to do.
It's a good idea to consult your physician or an exercise professional before you begin heart rate training.