How to Improve your Cardiorespiratory Fitness

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Cardiorespiratory endurance is an indication of a person’s overall physical health. Cardiorespiratory endurance tests monitor how well the heart, lungs, and muscles perform during moderate to high-intensity exercise.

Increasing cardiorespiratory endurance improves oxygen uptake in the lungs and heart and can help a person sustain physical activity for longer. Other names for cardiorespiratory endurance include cardiovascular fitness, cardiovascular endurance, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cardiorespiratory endurance indicates a person’s level of aerobic health and physical fitness. This information can benefit everyone, not just professional athletes. Having a high cardiorespiratory endurance generally means that a person can perform high-intensity exercise for longer.

How to improve it

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People can improve their cardiorespiratory endurance through regular exercise. The authors of a 2019 study reported that resistance training, endurance training, and high-intensity interval training led to improvements in cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength among adults who were aged 40–65 years old and who were not previously physically active.

A 2017 study investigated the effectiveness of a 12-week cross-circuit training program in students who were overweight and had intellectual disabilities. The researchers found participants who followed the training program had an improved exercise endurance, muscle strength, and body mass index.

The following exercises can help improve cardiorespiratory endurance, build muscle, and burn calories. People can perform these physical activities at home or add them to their gym routine.

Try doing these exercises in sets of 10–15 repetitions, or as many repetitions as possible for 1 minute with a 20-second break in between sets.

How to Improve your Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Jumping jacks:

  • Start by standing upright with legs together and arms at the sides of the body.
  • Jump up. While in the air, open the legs to spread the feet wide apart and raise the arms overhead.
  • While landing, bring the feet and arms back to the starting position.


  • Begin standing with the feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend the knees and place the hands on the floor in front to come down into a squat position.
  • Jump the legs out behind to get into the push-up position, shifting the body’s weight onto the hands.
  • Jump the feet back into the squat position.
  • Jump up into the air with arms raised above the head.
  • Land back in the squat position.

Mountain climbers (running planks):

  • Start in the plank position, aligning the shoulders over the wrists and keeping the legs straight. Keep the back flat and the head aligned with the spine.
  • Engage the core muscles.
  • Bring the right knee towards the chest.
  • Switch legs by returning the right leg to the starting position and bringing the left knee towards the chest. This completes one repetition.

Side-shuffle touches:

  • Start in a standing position with the feet shoulder-width apart and the arms down by the sides.
  • Bend the knees and squat down.
  • Shuffle a shoulder-width to the right and then touch the floor outside the right foot with the fingertips of the right hand.
  • Shuffle a shoulder-width to the left and then touch the floor outside the left foot with the fingertips of the left hand.
  • This is one repetition.

Other exercises that can help improve cardiorespiratory fitness include:

  • running
  • power walking
  • swimming
  • dancing
  • jump rope
  • high-intensity sports, such as basketball and soccer

This is how you can improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.

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