Cardiorespiratory Training

Cardiorespiratory training is any stress on the heart and lungs while delivering oxygen to muscles during physical activity. Regardless of the time spent performing an activity, or the intensity level, the cardiorespiratory system is used. The greater your cardiorespiratory system, the longer and more efficiently you will perform during activities. Performing cardiorespiratory training is vital before, during, and after a workout.
The progression of cardio is slow to fast

Health Benefits


  • Anxiety
  • depression
  • obesity
  • osteoporosis
  • high blood pressure
  • coronary artery disease, daily fatigue
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cancer


  • Performance
  • Sense of well being
  • Cholesterol profile
  • Immunity
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Blood sugar tolerance

American College of Sports Medicine Cardiorespiratory Exercise Recommendations

Frequency: Moderate exercise: >= 5 d/wk, while vigorous exercise: >= 3 d/wk, or combination of both: >=3-5 d/wk
Intensity: For most adults, moderate and or vigorous intensity is recommended.
Time: Moderate  exercise = 150 min/wk. (30-60 min/day) while Vigorous exercise = 75 min/wk (20-60 min/day) or combination of both.
NOTE:  Accumulative time does not need to be continuous. Exercise can be broken into durations of time. Example: (3) 10 min intervals randomly through out the day. As a result, target for a minimum of 10 minute durations. 
Citiation (1)

Cardiorespiratory Zones

Zone 1: Activities requiring oxygen
Intensity: Light to moderate

Zone 2: Activities requiring a combination of oxygen, and not requiring oxygen.
Intensity: Moderate to vigorous

Zone 3: Activities not requiring oxygen
Intensity: Vigorous

Personal Assessment

Zone 1: Unable to perform 30 minutes of moderately intense and continuous exercise due to a sedentary life style; beginning  fitness journey.
NOTE: Should be able to talk comfortably while performing activites.
Zone 2: Able to perform 30 minutes of moderately intense, continuous exercise. Seeking general health and fitness, losing weight, or completing a one-time event like a 10k marathon.
NOTE: Talking is challenging during activity
Zone 3: Performing seven plus hours a week of cardiorespiratory training and performance driven. 
NOTE: Unable to talk during activity

Look Boring? Because it is Boring.....

Spending any more than 5 minutes on a stationary object can be mind numbing. Typically, participants people-watch and blare their favorite music so loud it can be heard across the gym. No wonder the term “cardio" has such a negative connotation.

Light Intensity Activities

Thrill Seeking Moderate Intensity Activities

Non-thrill seeking intensity activities would include:

Mowing the yard, chopping wood, painting, washing window, stairs, carpentry, and shoveling snow.

Thrill Seeking Vigorous Intensity Activities

  1. Garber. Carol, Blissmer. Bryan, Descheness. Michael. Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal, and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. American College of Sports Medicine. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Pages 1334-1359.
  2. Sidney M. Jette, F. Blumchen. Metabolic Equivalents (METS) in Exercise Testing, Exercise Prescription, and Evaluation of Functional Capacity. Clin Cardiol. Vol 13, Pages 555-565, August 1990