Cardiovascular health is an important part of strength and conditioning exercises. With a higher level of endurance, you’re able to push harder and longer through your workouts. How do you improve your cardiovascular endurance, though? Training is definitely important, but it’s also important to eat well to give your body the fuel that it needs during and after workouts.
Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, dancer, or other cardio enthusiast, getting the right amount of macronutrients will help you perform better and longer. If you’re interested in a different style of cardio workout, try a strength and conditioning class like DualityResCon, a 60-minute workout at Duality Fitness in Sloan Lake. The class combines resistance and conditioning moves in a studio heated to 85 degrees to keep muscles warm and loose.
Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient because they provide energy to the body. The longer and harder you work out, the more carbohydrates you need to fuel your workout and use to recover energy afterward. The same works vice versa. If you want to train longer and harder, try boosting your carbohydrate intake.
Different sources of carbohydrates include pasta, rice, bread, and cereal; fruit; and starchy vegetables like potatoes.
Protein is another key factor to improve your cardiovascular endurance. It helps your body burn energy more slowly so you’re less full. This not only helps you burn fat, but it also allows the carbohydrates you’re eating to break down more slowly and maintain energy levels.
Branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are an important component of the protein you consume as well. These amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are essential amino acids, meaning that they are not produced by your body and must be consumed in your diet. They help build muscle, decrease muscle soreness, reduce fatigue from exercise, prevent muscle breakdown, and can even benefit people with liver problems.
BCAAs are found in foods like eggs, meat, and dairy products. They’re also sold as a dietary supplement. Other sources of protein include beans and legumes, soy, and nuts and seeds.
Before you try any new supplement, consult with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to try. Some supplements may react with pre-existing health conditions or medication you may be taking. That said, there are a few specific foods and supplements you may decide to try to improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Beetroot juice contains significantly more nitrate than a lot of vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables have nitrate in them, but it’s particularly concentrated in beetroot. When you consume nitrate, your body converts it into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps open blood vessels and allows more blood and oxygen to flow through the body and reach muscles. It may not be necessary to consume beetroot juice as a daily supplement; however, it can help when consumed two or three hours before an event or rigorous training session.
Rhodiola is another supplement that may help with cardiovascular endurance. Sometimes called Arctic root or golden root, Rhodiola is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps your body adapt to stressful situations. It has been known to help reduce stress-related fatigue. This could mean a stressful day at the office or a particularly grueling cardio workout.
Another root that may help with cardiovascular endurance is ashwagandha. In an eight-week study, cyclists who consumed one gram of this root every day saw an increase in their aerobic exercise ability as well as time that they could work out before becoming exhausted.
There may be other specific foods and supplements that help with cardiovascular endurance. Again, consult with your doctor before trying any new dietary supplement or integrating a specific food into your daily diet to try and improve cardio endurance.
With any type of exercise program, staying hydrated is essential.Try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day for optimal hydration. This helps flush toxins that make you feel sluggish, maintain your body’s temperature, and lubricate your joints. Water is the best form of hydration and helps your joints and muscles function better.
When you eat better, you’re able to work out more efficiently. Changing up your workout routine can help improve your cardiovascular endurance as well. At Duality Fit, we offer HIIT, strength and conditioning, and yoga to help train your body in different ways. If you’re interested in improving your physical and mental wellbeing, become a member today and obtain unlimited access to our DualityCircuit, DualitResCon, and DualityFlow classes.