Cardio fitness levels is a component of fitness which many trainers emphasise on, with cardiovascular or aerobic fitness levels of a person often determining the level of overall fitness in the eyes of the masses, and even many gym goers. In reality cardio fitness is one component of overall fitness, with other fitness components dictating overall fitness levels of an individual, such as strength, agility and power. Many people choose to start improving cardio fitness to improve health, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and illness, a major cause of death in the western world.
Cardio fitness can be improved by incorporating exercises which increase the heart rate, such as running, walking, cycling, tennis, swimming, and so on. It is important to build a fitness program which is sustainable, or in other words, a routine you will enjoy and thus stick to, and also one which does not result in a burn out. Small steps can be taken in our daily lives to heighten activity levels, such as cycling to work when the weather permits, using the stairs instead of the life/elevator, and walking more places instead of taking the bus or using the car (increase your cardio fitness can be healthy for your wallet too).
Increase daily activity levels will put you on the right step for a more fruitful lifestyle for increasing cardio fitness levels. The next step is to start an exercise which you enjoy and feel you would be able to stick to. Setting the alarm for half six in the morning for an early morning run may not be for everyone, and many will just hit the snooze the button, feeling bad about themselves when they do wake up. If you enjoy swimming then see about going to your local swimming baths a couple of times a week. Swimming can be great to reduce stress, and also is a great exercise for stimulating the large muscles of the body in a low impact manner. During the summer months try going for a game of tennis with some friends, or playing a game with the kids in the park.
Having a training buddy can help motivate many people also. Having someone to go running, cycling or swimming with a couple of times per week can ensure you rarely miss a session. Getting into a routine can be great, setting aside an hour three times per week for cardio fitness activities with a fitness partner.
To workout how many beats per minute is ideal for improving cardio fitness, take your age and take the figure away from 220, and then aim for 60-90% of that figure. So, between (220-age)x0.6 and (220-age)x0.8. A 35 year old would therefore work out their heart beat range in the following manner:
220-35 = 185
185×0.6 = 111bmp
185×0.9 = 167bmp
So, a 35 year old would aim for a bmp of between 111 and 167, using the above formula.
Using such formulas can be an aid in calculating ideals, but in reality many will improve their cardio fitness vastly merely by focusing on increasing their weekly activities and ensuring the heart rate is elevated and a sweat is worked up.