One important aspect of good fitness and health is endurance, which is the ability of an energetic person to sustain a stress for a prolonged period of time. Accordingly, a continuous and rhythmic pattern of exercises involving the large muscle groups can improve endurance, fitness and energy. Such exercises increase the rate of heart beat as well as the rates of breathing and body temperature, thereby helping the body to function efficiently.1
A moderate level of physical activity is required for the heart and the lungs to supply the body with adequate amounts of blood and oxygen. Aerobics, walking, jogging, swimming and other forms of exercise are considered beneficial for improving the endurance of the heart and the lungs. Furthermore, endurance of the muscles and other supporting tissues can be enhanced by increasing physical activity from moderate to a more rigorous level. This quality of exercise needs to be maintained regularly for the muscles to be durable. Improving endurance not only helps the cardiorespiratory (heart and the lungs) system to function efficiently by delivering oxygen to the working muscles, it also brings about the conversion of carbohydrates to fat and energy.2 The proper balance of this conversion aids in producing the energy required for fitness. Studies have shown that regularly engaging in sports, such as swimming, jogging and cycling improves endurance. Dr. Thompson (a senior member of the American Heart Association) and colleagues have shown that the risk factors for heart diseases can also be controlled when a person is physically active [and thus energetic]3 Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription from the American College of Sports Medicine state that improving endurance through aerobic exercises helps in preventing the primary and secondary stages of cardiovascular disease.4
Additionally, endurance can be improved through different kinds of physical activity. The duration, frequency and intensity of each type of physical activity may differ, so. focusing on the type of physical activity is very important in order to improve the skills needed for good fitness and health.
- Hass CJ, Feigenbaum MS, Franklin BA. Prescription of Resistance Training for Healthy Populations. Sports Med. 2001; 31(14): 953–964.
- Wilmore, J.H. and Costill, D.L. Physiology of Sport and Exercise: 3rd Edition. 2005.
- Thompson PD, Buchner D, Pina IL, et al. Exercise and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Circulation. 2003; 107: 3109–3116.
- American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 7th edition. 2006.