Endurance Exercises for Beginners
There are two different types of endurance. You can have cardiovascular endurance, meaning your heart and lungs can help you sustain a good effort over a long period of time. You can also have muscular endurance, meaning your muscles can help you sustain a good effort over a long period of time.
Ideally, it’s great to have both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. The following endurance exercises can help beginners start improving their fitness endurance on all levels.
* Squats - The squat is one of the fundamental functional fitness exercises. Think about it; whenever you sit down you’re performing a squat. To do a squat, position your feet about shoulder width apart. Now bend your knees using your gluteus and thigh muscles. Keep your weight in your heels and lower your hips below parallel – below your knees. Stand up. Repeat.
* Plank - The plank is a supreme core strength and endurance exercise. To perform the plank you’ll utilize your entire group of back and abdominal muscles. Get into a push-up position with your arms fully extended. Hold the position as long as you can. You can make the plank move more difficult by resting your forearms on the floor with your elbows positioned under your shoulders. Keep your body straight and tight. Don’t allow your knees to bend or your rear end to raise or lower.
* Cardio intervals - A cardio interval workout is a workout that involves running, race walking, cycling, swimming or another form of cardio exercise. If you have an elliptical machine or a rowing machine, you can do an interval workout on it.
Warm up at a low intensity level for five minutes. Exercise at a moderate intensity level for five minutes. Now increase your effort and work out at an intense level for five minutes. Drop back down and reduce your intensity level to a moderate level for five minutes and alternate until you’ve been working out for thirty minutes, not including your five minute warm-up.
Combining these three exercises into a weekly workout will help you improve both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Once you’ve added these beginner exercises into your weekly workout program, you may want to consider adding more exercises or increasing your intensity. For example, you might track how many squats you can do in a minute, rest a minute, and repeat for a period of five rounds. Or you might increase the length of time you spend on cardiovascular exercise. Instead of a thirty minute workout you could increase it to forty or forty-five.
There are many benefits to improving your muscular and cardiovascular or aerobic endurance. You’ll lose weight. Your metabolism will improve. You’ll reduce your risk of illness, sleep better, and have less stress. Start improving your endurance today.
Learn more in here about our lifetime fitness exercise guide
Warren Tattersall has been a nutritional consultant for over 20 years and has a personal interest in weight lifting toward reaching competition level.
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Simple Tools to Help You Measure Your Endurance
Strength is one measure of fitness. There’s also your VO2max or the measure of oxygen consumption. And there’s also your endurance. Endurance may be one of the most important levels of fitness because it impacts your body in a number of ways. So how do you measure your endurance? How do you know if you’re in shape, what goals to set, or how to improve your endurance? You need a starting point, a measurement.
One-Mile Endurance and Fitness Test
The simplest test is the one-mile test. This test requires you to run/walk a mile as fast as you can. The only tool you need is a stopwatch so you can see how fast you are able to cover the distance. It’s strongly recommended that you warm up. Walk a mile first to get your muscles ready to go and your cardiovascular system warmed up.
Once you’re warm, it’s time to walk or run that mile as fast as you can. Record your results. There are charts you can use to determine your endurance and fitness level based on your time. For example, if you’re female and between the ages of 40 and 49, anything less than fourteen minutes is excellent. For a man of the same age, anything less than thirteen minutes is excellent. If you don’t achieve “Excellent” results, don’t worry. You can begin an endurance training program and start improving your endurance and overall fitness level.
The Three-Minute Step Test
Another test you can take at home is the three-minute step test. You need a step, about twelve inches tall. You can use your home steps if you don’t have a fitness step. You also need a metronome and a stopwatch. You may have a smartphone application that counts beats per minute. You want to set your watch or metronome to 96 beats per minute. Each beat is a step up or a step down. Continue stepping on the beat for three full minutes.
As soon as the three minutes is up, take your pulse for a minute. You can do this by putting your fingers on the main artery in your neck. Count all the beats for a minute. Again, there are charts you can find online that will help you determine your score. For a man age 46-55, an excellent score is a heart rate between 56 and 82 beats per minute. A woman of the same age would have an excellent score if her heart rate were between 63 and 91.
If you’re concerned about your fitness level, you can also head to your doctor and request a fitness test. VO2max tests can be performed at your local sports performance center as well. Knowing your endurance levels can help you determine an appropriate fitness program so you can effectively boost your health.