Improving Cardiorespiratory Fitness


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discussion board due thursday

Discussion: Improving Cardiorespiratory Fitness

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Certain inherited characteristics and behaviors may place people at higher risk of health problems (such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers) and death. Physical inactivity doubles the risk for heart disease, while regular activity cuts the risk in half. A growing number of studies shows that regular physical activity also lowers the risk of having a stroke (Do Lee, Folsom, & Blair, 2003).

Physical activity may reduce or eliminate risk factors of high serum cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, obesity, and high stress. Moderate physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, but the physical activity must be a regular lifestyle habit to have an impact. The greatest benefits occur in sedentary people who adopt moderate physical activity habits. Even as little as 2 miles of brisk walking on most days of the week can be beneficial, while additional protection against heart disease is gained as the time and intensity of exercise increases.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 3, “Cardiorespiratory Endurance: Assessment and Prescription” and consider how physical activity benefits cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • Review Chapter 10, “Preventing Cardiovascular Disease.” Focus on the long-term health benefits of cardiorespiratory fitness and the potential consequences of poor fitness.
  • Consider the types of activities that you like to participate in and their impact on your cardiorespiratory fitness.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post a brief description of two activities in which you are likely to participate that may benefit your cardiovascular system. Justify your choices based on their impact on cardiorespiratory fitness. Then explain how you will monitor your exercise intensity. Finally, describe how you plan to incorporate these activities into your personal fitness program.


assignment due sunday

Assignment: Fitness Activity: Developing Cardiorespiratory Fitness

By making some simple changes, everyone can include more physical activity in their daily life. The “lifestyle approach” seeks to increase opportunities for physical activity throughout the daily routine and accumulate at least 30 minutes over the course of most, if not all, days of the week. This is the minimum amount of physical activity that improves the quality of life while decreasing the risk of most chronic diseases. Examples of simple changes that may increase physical activity include:

  • Walk, cycle, jog, or skate to work, school, or the store
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Play sports with the kids

It is important to understand, however, that exercise is not synonymous with physical activity; it is a subcategory. Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful, with the goal of improving or maintaining physical fitness. Through exercise, additional health and fitness benefits can be achieved by adding more time in moderate-intensity activity, or by substituting more vigorous activity.

A “personalized fitness program” should consider the individual’s current activity status and desired outcomes. Cardiorespiratory endurance can be considered the most important of the health-related fitness components because of its impact on the cardio (heart), vascular (blood vessels), respiratory (lungs), and musculoskeletal systems of the body. Cardiorespiratory fitness is a good measure of the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine (Haskell et al., 2007) recommends participating in activities that use 55–90 percent of maximum heart rate for 20–60 minutes, three to five days/week.


Haskell, W. L., Lee, I., Pate, R. R., Powell, K. E., Blair, S. N., Franklin, B. A.,…Bauman, A. (2007). Physical activity and public health: Updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation, 116, 1081–1093. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.185649

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the media titled “Fitness Activities: Determining Heart Rate and Rate of Perceived Exertion” for proper instructions about how to complete the fitness assessment activities.
  • Review Chapter 3, “Cardiorespiratory Endurance: Assessment and Prescription.” Consider how the F.I.T. principles apply to a fitness program and how they shape individual workouts.
  • Review the Fitness Activity Instructions for either Fitness Activity Track 1 or Fitness Activity Track 2. Pay particular attention to the instructions for each activity.
  • Review the Fitness Activity Worksheet for either Fitness Activity Track 1 or Fitness Activity Track 2. Use it as a template for completing your Fitness Activity assignment.

Document: Track 2 Fitness Activity Instructions (Word document)

Document: Track 2 Fitness Activity Worksheet (Word document)

The assignment

Track 2:

Using the data set provided in the Fitness Activity Instructions and Worksheet, complete the following activities:

  • Determine target heart rate
  • Determine rate of perceived exertion
  • Develop a personal cardiorespiratory endurance fitness program
  • Prepare a fitness presentation
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