Why Is Cardiovascular Endurance Used in Swimming?

Cardiovascular exercise helps to build a strong, healthy heart while swimming.
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Swimming is an aerobic activity that works out multiple muscle groups and helps build cardiovascular health. While cardiovascular refers to the system that makes up the heart, blood and blood vessels, cardiovascular endurance provides your body with fuel needed to excel at swimming.

What Is Cardiovascular Endurance?

Cardiovascular endurance refers to the body's ability to perform dynamic exercise and continued exertion at moderate to high levels of intensity while providing your body with fuel from the aerobic system. Your cardiorespiratory system, consisting of your heart, lungs and circulatory system, must work together efficiently. Developing cardiovascular endurance requires consistently participating in aerobic exercises. Luckily, swimming just happens to be an incredibly effective aerobic exercise.

Why Swimming?

Swimming helps develop cardiovascular endurance because it makes your body maintain movement over a sustained period of time. To keep swimming down the pool lane and back, your lungs must breathe in oxygen, which is transported by the circulatory system to your working tissues. This is then used as fuel for your muscles, which are working overtime while you swim. Essentially, your cardiorespiratory system and muscles work together to deliver oxygen to your body while keeping up that intense level of aerobic exercise.

Anaerobic Workouts

Beginning your workout with anaerobic training can build up heart strength, a vital part of cardiovascular endurance. Basically, your anaerobic system can provide your muscles with the energy they need much faster, although it cannot maintain that level of energy over time. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine says that over a long period of time, it's not a sufficient stimulus for maintaining fitness. That said, sprints do help promote strength, but not endurance.

Swimming for Cardiovascular Endurance

If you're looking to strengthen your heart, you should swim to develop your cardiovascular endurance. To find out if your cardiorespiratory endurance is poor, fair or good, warm up, then swim at a steady pace for 12 minutes. How many laps did you swim? According to the University of Michigan's swim test, your age and gender will help determine your rating.

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