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Cardiovascular Fitness

Published: April 24, 2020

Your cardiovascular system
Your cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular fitness refers to the ability of your cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to your muscles, and for your muscles to utilize oxygen to provide energy for sustained periods of physical activity.

With good cardiovascular fitness your daily activities are accomplished more easily and you have more energy for other physical activities.
A person who has low cardiovascular fitness will tire easily when participating in physical activity and may suffer from muscle soreness. 
A person who has good cardiovascular fitness will not tire as easily and is less likely to suffer muscle soreness when participating in moderate levels of physical activity.
Cardiovascular fitness can provide many health benefits such as:

Physical activities most frequently chosen to improve cardiovascular fitness are those which are considered "aerobic" such as walking and jogging, but "anaerobic" activities can also contribute to cardiovascular fitness.

This article provides you with a brief overview of the cardiovascular system and oxygen delivery and includes the following topics:

  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Measuring cardiovascular fitness
  • The FITT Principle
  • Aerobic and anaerobic fitness

Your cardiovascular system

Your cardiovascular system consists of your heart and circulatory system (arteries, capillaries, and veins), and your respiratory system (lungs and air passages).
To have cardiovascular fitness you need to have a fit and healthy heart, arteries, capillaries, veins, and lungs.
The red blood cells in your blood also need sufficient haemoglobin for transporting oxygen to the tissues of your body such as muscle tissue. Oxygen...link to the full article to learn more.


Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
CSEP (2003).The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Appraisal. Health Canada
American Council on Exercise (1996). Personal Trainer Manual. San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise
Gabela. (2013): CSEP: Extreme human physiology-Pathology to performance: Hit to get fit: Physiological adaptations to high intensity training in health and disease