To develop cardiorespiratory fitness:
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderateintensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
What is “Cardiorespiratory Exercise”?
Cardiorespiratory exercise is also known as “aerobic” exercise. It is rhythmic, continuous physical activity using the large muscles of the body to stimulate your metabolism by simultaneously raising heart and breathing rates. As a result, more blood is circulated throughout the body and to the heart.
Large quantities of oxygen are needed with aerobic exercise. Walking, jogging, water aerobics, swimming, skating, cross country skiing, bike riding, rowing, and dancing are all activities that can be aerobic. In a fitness facility, aerobic equipment includes elliptical
trainers, treadmills, stair mills, stationary bicycles (upright and recumbent), spin bicycles, and rowing machines. Aerobic classes may include cardio combo, low impact, Zumba, and others.
What is Exercise “Intensity”?
Intensity refers to the amount of effort you put out during exercise. ACSM guidelines suggest cardiorespiratory exercise that is moderate or vigorous. There is a simple way to assess exercise intensity known as Borg’s modified 10-point scale of perceived
exertion (RPE, rate of perceived exertion). When you are active, occasionally rate how hard you are exercising. Moderate intensity activity is rated 5-6 and produces noticeable increases in heart rate and breathing. Vigorous intensity activity is rated 7-8 and produces large increases in heart rate and breathing. As your cardiorespiratory stamina improves, your RPE will change.
A Very Light-to-Moderate Intensity Scale
A Vigorous to Maximal Effort Scale
Today’s Take Aways
Knowing your RPE is helpful in several ways:
- Many people recognize that most of their exercise has been in the “light” range and can gradually increase intensity.
- Moderate intensity is challenging but not difficult to attain.
- “Killer” workouts aren’t necessary to gain crucial fitness benefits.