What Is the Definition of Cardiovascular Endurance?

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Cardiovascular endurance is the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to muscles while they are working. Essentially, it is the heart and lungs delivering energy to a body in motion without undue fatigue, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Cardiovascular endurance occurs after the phosphogen and glycogen lactic acid system kicks in, according to Health Guidance. Technically speaking, cardiovascular endurance occurs after the first 1.5 minutes of exercise or activity. After this time period, the body must “find its energy from other areas around the body and then transport it to the areas it is needed and this is done via the bloodstream,” states Health Guidance.

Most of the time, this energy is found in the form of fat or protein. At this point, the body is using its own fuel as energy. Cardiovascular endurance is generally associated with extended periods of exercise or long distance sports, such as swimming, jogging or running.

Cardiovascular endurance is essential to overall physical fitness and health. It is also an indicator of heart strength, which is essential as aging occurs. There is no need to worry about running a marathon to reap the benefits of cardiovascular health, however. The American Heart Association suggests five to seven 30-minute sessions of cardiovascular exercise per week to increase heart strength and cardiovascular endurance.