The ability for your body to supply the needed oxygen, blood vessels, and heart stamina to meet physical demand is called your aerobic capacity. This ability is tied directly to your cardiovascular health, so an unhealthy heart and circulatory system can jeopardize your athletic performance. In addition to improving your overall heart and cardiovascular health through things like a cocoa supplement, omega-3 supplement, or multi-vitamin with high levels of CoQ10, folic acid, and vitamin D, you can increase your aerobic capacity through your choices with an exercise routine.
A well-designed exercise program should cardiorespiratory training, mobility or flexibility training, and resistance training. Depending on your overall goals, such as improving bone tone or physical function, you would alter your program with more of a focus on activities and exercises that address your priority. If your goal is to lose weight, the focus of your program would be in areas of cardiorespiratory activities, while improving movement efficiency would focus on areas of flexibility. No matter what your focus might be, you will need to improve your aerobic capacity if you want to reach them. Your improved capacity will help with issues of healing a muscle recovery, increased blood flow to support flexibility, and improved oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles and organs that require it. If you want to maximize your exercise efforts, make sure you take note of the following areas.
1. Increased Oxygen Delivery
Focus on including aerobic activities that will strengthen and challenged the flow of oxygen to various parts of the body. Muscle contractions rely on mitochondria to produce the fuel for activity, and the oxygen supply is crucial to mitochondrial density. Between these two activities, cellular level processing and function improve, as well as creating a boost in muscle capabilities and repairs. By including high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in your routine, your body can use ATP fuel from anaerobic sources to boost your overall anaerobic capacity. However, too much of this training can be damaging if not properly monitored. You should limit HITT activities to just two or three times a week.
In addition to creating spurts of demand for your cardiovascular system and challenging your aerobic capacity, you also need to train your body to maintain a steady work-rate over longer periods of time. Low-intensity steady-state training (LISS) or long slow distance training (LSD) helps train your aerobic energy pathways to sustain consistent demand for fuel from extended activities like a marathon or endurance races. Although it is doesn’t burn as many calories and isn’t an effective form of weight loss, you can include these training activities in a daily routine without harm to your body. It an effective low-stress way to improve the consistency of your aerobic capacity.
3. Diverse Delivery Demands
If you want to take advantage of the aerobic capacity benefits that both LISS and HITT provide, consider a cross-training protocol. This form of exercise required individuals to engage in different activities on different days in order to achieve their fitness goals. You can start off with a low-intensity but long-distance run on the first day followed by a high-intensity workout on the second day. Your subsequent activities should alternate between activities to improve your aerobic capacity. You can also combine cross-training in a single exercise session, perhaps through keeping a steady walking pace for ten minutes but on an incline or alternating between high and low-intensity bursts of effort on a stationary bike.
By improving your aerobic capacity, you increase your ability to extend your exercise potential to more intense workouts. You also improve your cardiovascular health, which in turn supports your health and longevity.