Following on from strength training post, this post discusses endurance and endurance training.

Cardiovascular system (CVS) endurance is a vital health parameter. Improved CVS endurance will enable an individual to live better for longer. Keeping the heart and pulmonary system in good health is key to living a physically enabled life. To endurance train the CVS, one needs to raise heart rate and respiration rate. This can be done with a range of exercise types from brisk walking (faster than 5 kph), cycling, running, rowing, dancing, field and court sports, using gym equipment such as the cross trainer or stepper or performing circuits.

Maintenance of the heart rate above 60% but not above 80% is key. This is easily monitored with a watch or chest strap. Or it can be estimated using perceived exertion – 14-16 out of 20 on a scale from 0 – no exertion to 20 – exhaustion.

Endurance training is also important for the musculoskeletal system. When lifting and lowering weights, most people focus on strength training but there is a value, at times, to lowering the weight and performing more repetitions until fatigue is reached to train musculoskeletal endurance. This type of training, with good form/technique, will train the stability muscles and associated components.

E.g. Calf endurance is vital for running & running sports. This can be assessed and trained using one legged heel raises (body weight). 18 is the minimum any fit person should aspire to.

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