Aerobic fitness is an important predictor of overall health, and it’s something that many fitness enthusiasts strive for. But you don’t have to be a high-level or experienced athlete to aim to improve your aerobic fitness – even those of us just beginning a new fitness program can benefit from finding targeted ways to improve our aerobic fitness. Improving your aerobic fitness will lead to a range of benefits – everything from a lower risk of obesity to improved blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. In this article, we’ll walk you through some tips you can use to improve your aerobic fitness!
- Add more intensity to your workouts
Aerobic fitness is about getting your heart pumping and air into your lungs. Any kind of cardio exercise – as long as it’s the right intensity – likely already does this for you. So, what’s one way to continue improving your aerobic fitness? Add more intensity to your workouts! This doesn’t mean trying to run a four-minute mile out of the gate, but it does mean making your workouts feel a little harder. A good rule of thumb is that your intensity should be between 70 and 85 percent of your target heart rate. When you begin exercising, stay on the lower end of that range, but as you get more advanced, work your heart rate up slowly and steadily.
- Increase the frequency of your workouts
Another option for improving your aerobic fitness – especially if you may not be ready to up the intensity of your workouts – is to up the frequency. If you’re currently working out for 30 minutes, 3 days a week, add a fourth day. Then, as you get more fit over time, add a fifth. Keeping your heart and lungs pumping will definitely help increase your aerobic fitness!
- Increase the duration of your workout time
You can also increase the duration of your workouts. Remember those 30 minute, 3 days a week cardio sessions you were doing? Well, next time, try doing 45 minutes. Giving your body more time to be in an exercise zone will help increase your aerobic fitness over time. Just make sure you don’t do all of these things at once – i.e., only switch up one variable (intensity, frequency, duration) until you feel comfortable moving on to another one.
- Add high-intensity interval training to your fitness regime
Finally, one of the easiest and best workouts you can do to improve aerobic fitness is high-intensity interval training. Essentially, this is exactly what it sounds like: mixing periods of very high-intensity cardio activity with periods of recovery. Think: run for two minutes, walk for one, sprint for one, repeat. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, as it’s called, can also be a really fun way to break-up normal, monotonous exercise!
Remember: aiming to improve your aerobic fitness is a great goal – just make sure you do it gradually and over time. You don’t want to send your body into shock by trying to do something it’s not prepared for. Instead, work a little bit more on your fitness each day and you’ll see some great results!