Have you ever been winded after a bike ride, found yourself panting during a run, or felt tired after climbing the stairs?
The way your body responds to physical excursion is linked to your level of endurance. Endurance, along with balance, strength, and flexibility, makes up the four core elements of personal fitness. Endurance exercises are also commonly referred to as aerobic exercises because they require the pumping of oxygenated blood to the working muscles. Aerobic exercises cause you to breathe faster and more deeply while also raising your heart rate.
Healthy adults should aim to get 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Incorporating regular aerobic workouts into your weekly fitness routine can help you stay healthy by reducing the risk of major health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Endurance training can be intimidating at first, especially if you haven’t attempted a lot of medium-intensity workouts in the past, but you’ll be glad to know that aerobic exercises encompass a broad range of activities including speed walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, dancing, kickboxing, or team sports like basketball, soccer, and football.
So where should you start?
Building up your endurance can be fun as long as you take it slow and safe. First, make sure the body is warmed up by taking a short walk or jog before engaging in any form of aerobic exercise. Next, start with 10-15 minutes of an aerobic exercise of your choosing such as jogging, swimming, or spinning on a stationary bike. Afterwards, take stock of how you feel and listen to your body; you don’t want to over exert yourself. Remember to take it one day at a time, and continue building upon your progress by increasing the time or intensity of your aerobic workouts.