Cardiorespiratory Endurance Activities for Parents and Kids (2022)

Cardiorespiratory endurance activities test and improve the body's ability to sustain dynamic exercise, using large muscle groups over time. During this moderate- to high-intensity level of exercise, the body's circulatory and respiratory systems—the heart and lungs—must supply fuel and oxygen to the muscles.

What Is Cardiorespiratory Endurance?

This fitness term refers to how efficiently your heart ("cardio") and lungs ("respiratory") work together to supply your body with oxygenated blood over an extended period. The better your cardiorespiratory endurance is, the longer you can exercise—without resting—at a level that increases your heart and breathing rates.

You will usually hear the term shortened to just cardio or aerobic. You might also hear these activities called cardiorespiratory fitness, aerobic fitness, aerobic endurance, cardiopulmonary fitness, or a cardio workout.

Why Fitness Is Important

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists physical inactivity as the fourth most important risk factor for deaths worldwide. Improving your cardiorespiratory fitness not only boosts your overall health and well-being, it also lowers your risk of dying from a variety of illnesses.

Cardio exercise increases the body's need for oxygenated blood. In response, the heart works harder to supply blood to the lungs. The amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat (stroke volume) multiplied by its rate of pumping (heart rate) equals cardiac output.

Exercise can increase cardiac output by three to four times the resting level. Breathing rate also increases as the lungs work to supply extra oxygen.

Over time, cardio workouts will result in a healthier heart and lungs. In contrast, other forms of exercise like resistance training aim primarily to build muscle and bone strength.

How Much Cardio Do You Need?

On a global scale, the vast majority of children (about two-thirds) and adults (60-85%) do not get enough physical activity, according to WHO. That means most of us would benefit from more movement, but how much is enough? And how can you fit exercise into a schedule that's already packed?

Here are cardio exercise recommendations for both adults and kids, along with some creative ways to increase your cardiorespiratory endurance without a separate workout.

Guidelines for Adults

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises adults to choose one of the following options for cardio exercise each week:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity exercise
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity exercise
  • A combination of the two

Resistance training is also recommended on most days of the week to build and maintain muscle mass.

Guidelines for Children and Teens

The CDC recommends that children and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, with most of it in the form of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise. Activities that build muscle and bone mass should also be encouraged to promote physical growth and development.

Examples of strengthening exercises that are safe and appropriate for kids:

(Video) 10-Minute Family Fun Cardio Exercise Workout

  • Climbing a rock wall
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Jumping jacks

Supporting your child's participation in sports (or any physical activity they enjoy) is a good way to help them get moving and establish healthy habits.

Fun and Easy Exercises for Kids to Try

Exercise Intensity Levels

How can you tell the difference between various intensity levels? The easiest way is to focus on how much effort it takes to talk while doing the activity. Because talking requires breathing, the more an exercise raises your breathing rate, the more difficult it will be to carry on a conversation while doing that exercise.

During moderate-intensity exercise, you should be able to talk but not sing a song.

Exercising at a vigorous intensity level means that you can only speak a few words at a time.

Another way to gauge the intensity level of an activity is by taking your heart rate or pulse. While the gold standard for measuring exercise intensity is by maximum oxygen uptake in a laboratory, research has shown that heart rate is a comparable (and much more convenient) test.

Checking Your Pulse

To check your pulse, simply press two fingers to one side of your neck, just under your jaw bone where the carotid artery lies. You will be able to feel a pulse each time your heart beats. Count the number of beats in one minute (or in 30 seconds and multiply by two) to get your pulse.

To use heart rate as a tool when exercising, first calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, a 60-year-old would subtract 60 from 220 for a maximum heart rate of 160. This is the fastest rate at which your heart can beat in one minute.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends aiming for 50-75% of max heart rate during moderate-intensity exercise and 75-85% of max heart rate during vigorous-intensity workouts. Below are maximum and target heart rate numbers provided by the AHA.

Age
(Years)
Target Heart Rate
(50-85%)
Maximum Heart Rate
20100-170 bpm*200 bpm
3095-162 bpm190 bpm
3593-157 bpm185 bpm
4090-153 bpm180 bpm
4588-149 bpm175 bpm
5085-145 bpm170 bpm
5583-140 bpm165 bpm
6080-136 bpm160 bpm
6578-132 bpm155 bpm
7075-128 bpm150 bpm

Examples of moderate-intensity exercise:

  • Bicycling
  • Brisk walking
  • Paddling a canoe or kayak
  • Roller skating or roller blading
  • Walking up stairs
  • Water aerobics

Vigorous-intensity exercise includes:

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  • Jogging or running
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing basketball
  • Riding a bike on hills
  • Snow skiing
  • Swimming laps

While these activities are appropriate for all ages, keep safety in mind when exercising with children. Use helmets when needed and make sure your kids' skill level is matched to the activity. This is especially important with any potentially dangerous forms of exercise (such as kayaking, skiing, or swimming.)

Fitting Exercise In

Between work and responsibilities at home, parents may find it difficult to fit exercise into their busy days. While pedometers are helpful for increasing the number of steps you take each day, the goal of cardiorespiratory endurance is to noticeably increase your breathing and heart rates.

Improving the health of your heart and lungs will lead to a healthy weight, increased strength, more stamina, and higher energy levels if the exercise is done consistently. Try the following ways to transform your daily activities into part of your cardio workout:

  • Bypass the riding mower for the push mower when it's time to cut the grass
  • Instead of using a leaf blower, rake your leaves and bag them
  • Organize a weekly softball or basketball game with friends or coworkers in place of happy hour
  • Take quick trips up and down stairs at work instead of the elevator
  • Walk briskly for 30 minutes on your lunch break

Family and Childhood Fitness

Cardio With Kids

There are a variety of ways to incorporate cardio exercise into your family's routine. Including your kids in your workouts not only improves everyone's health, it can also strengthen your bond as a family.

Make Exercise Fun

Exercise can be more attractive to kids if you turn your family's cardio workout into a game. Activities like these can help everyone enjoy daily physical activity with plenty of laughter and fun:

  • Dancing:Have fun dancing to your own music and movies. Coordination isn't a requirement; movement is all that matters. You can also play dancing video games such as "Dance Dance Revolution." For kids and parents who aren't into sports, this is a great way to enjoy cardio exercise.
  • Hopping, skipping, and twirling:Break out the jump ropes and hula hoops for a cardio workout that is kid-friendly and lots of fun, but also challenges the heart and lungs.
  • Playground games:Many classic, kid-favorite backyard games, especially tag (in its many forms)require plenty of running around, which definitely gets hearts pumping.
  • Sports:Chasing a ball is great cardio exercise. Think of sports such askickball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and other racquet sports. Winter sports like ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing also require and build cardiorespiratory endurance.

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Turn Work Into Play

Don't overlook the fact that many everyday chores you do as a family can count toward your exercise goals. Below is a list of a few of the activities you can do with your kids to raise your heart rate:

  • Mopping
  • Mowing the lawn with a push mower
  • Raking leaves
  • Sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Washing the car

Anything that raises your heart and breathing rate fits the description of cardio exercise. See what other ideas you can come up with and try to add them into your weekly exercise routine.

A family fitness challenge is a fun way to increase the physical activity of everyone in the family. You can either make it into a friendly competition or just have fun together.

A Word From Verywell

Cardiorespiratory endurance is an important measure of overall physical health. Increasing your and your kids' physical activity levels are worthy goals, but not always easy to achieve. Children are often tired after school and other activities, and the pull of friends and technology is a competing factor when it comes to exercise.

However, by incorporating some of these ideas into your family's lifestyle, you can find creative and fun ways to include physical activity in your daily life, with the result of better health for everyone.

6 Sources

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Cheng J-C, Chiu C-Y, Su T-J. Training and evaluation of human cardiorespiratory endurance based on a fuzzy algorithm. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(13).doi:10.3390/ijerph16132390

  2. University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine. Cardiac output.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do adults need?

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aerobic, muscle- and bone-strengthening: what counts for school-aged children and adolescents?

  5. American Heart Association. Target heart rates chart.

  6. Neshteruk CD, Jones DJ, Skinner A, Ammerman A, Tate DF, Ward DS. Understanding the role of fathers in children’s physical activity: a qualitative study. J Phys Act Health. 2020;17(5):540-547. doi:10.1123/jpah.2019-0386

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FAQs

What are 5 activities for cardiovascular endurance? ›

Activities like walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, rowing, stair climbing, hiking, cross country skiing and many types of dancing are “pure” aerobic activities. Sports such as soccer, basketball, squash and tennis may also improve your cardiovascular fitness.

What is an example activity of cardiorespiratory endurance? ›

Forms of exercise that depend on cardiorespiratory endurance include vigorous distance running, swimming, and cycling. This fitness component also affects a person's ability to perform, without undue fatigue, less intense, sustained whole-body activities, such as brisk walking, stair climbing, and home chores.

What are 10 cardiovascular endurance examples? ›

Some examples include:
  • Walking.
  • Running.
  • Jogging.
  • Hiking.
  • Swimming.
  • Dancing.
  • Cross country skiing.
  • Aerobics.
27 Nov 2021

What are 3 cardiorespiratory exercises? ›

Viable options include hiking, jogging, cycling, rowing, running, and elliptical training. Just remember, it is any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate! At the start of every session, take 5-10 minutes to gradually rev up your cardiovascular system and improve blood flow to your muscles.

Which of the following activities best develops cardiorespiratory endurance? ›

Participating in aerobic activities is the best way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance because they require the body to use large amounts of oxygen for sustained periods of time. With the increased need for oxygen, the heart must beat faster to pump more blood throughout the body.

What is an example of an endurance exercise? ›

Examples of endurance exercise:

Running / jogging. Dancing. Biking. Climbing stairs at work or at home (if available)

How do beginners build cardio endurance? ›

Cardio Workouts for Beginners
  1. Walk and Climb. Some beginner physical activities include walking on the spot while watching TV for 30 minutes, or climbing the stairs to your flat at a moderate pace. ...
  2. (House)work it Out. ...
  3. Skipping. ...
  4. Jumping Jacks. ...
  5. Jogging on the Spot.

Which is the best cardio exercise? ›

Top gym cardio exercises
  • Elliptical. The elliptical machine can provide the cardio benefits of walking or running, with reduced impact on a person's joints. ...
  • Stair climber. The stair climber strengthens the lower body. ...
  • Exercise bike. ...
  • Treadmill. ...
  • Rowing machine. ...
  • Swimming.
5 Jan 2021

What are the examples of activities that develops flexibility and endurance? ›

How to improve your strength and flexibility
  • lifting weights.
  • working with resistance bands.
  • heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling.
  • climbing stairs.
  • hill walking.
  • cycling.
  • dance.
  • push-ups, sit-ups and squats.

What are some cardiorespiratory endurance goals? ›

The most common goals of performing cardiorespiratory training are the following.
  • To improve performance. A primary purpose of training is to delay the onset of fatigue during competition; no matter if it's a pick-up game of basketball, 10k race, or completing a marathon.
  • To reduce mental anxiety. ...
  • Weight management.

How do you perform cardiorespiratory endurance? ›

Most people can increase their cardiorespiratory endurance by doing regular exercise.
...
You can also do other physical activities such as:
  1. running or jogging.
  2. swimming.
  3. cycling.
  4. dancing.
  5. boxing.
  6. aerobics or similar activities.
  7. any active sport.

Is 3 minute step test a cardiovascular endurance? ›

The 3-Minute Step Test measures your aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness level based on how quickly your heart rate returns to normal after exercise.

What is the best cardio for beginners? ›

A beginner cardio workout can be as simple as a brisk walk or a couple of minutes jumping rope. These types of workouts boost your heart health and make everyday tasks like walking up the stairs and playing with your kids a lot easier.

How can I do 30 minutes of cardio at home? ›

30 Minute HIIT Cardio Workout Without Any Equipment
  1. Step 1: Spot Sprint. Spot sprints are a great addition to any cardio workout session. ...
  2. Step 2: Jumping Jacks. ...
  3. Step 3: Side Lunges. ...
  4. Step 6: Climber Push Up. ...
  5. Step 7: Frog Hops. ...
  6. Step 8: High Knees + Butt Kicks. ...
  7. Step 11: Lunge + Burpee. ...
  8. Step 12: Climber Jacks + Plank Jack.

What are examples of aerobic activities or exercise? ›

What are some examples of aerobic exercise?
  • Swimming.
  • Cycling.
  • Using an elliptical trainer.
  • Walking.
  • Rowing.
  • Using an upper body ergometer (a piece of equipment that provides a cardiovascular workout that targets the upper body only).
16 Jul 2019

What is cardiorespiratory endurance in physical education? ›

Cardiorespiratory endurance refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to working muscles during continuous physical activity, which is an important indicator of physical health.

What are 10 exercises for flexibility? ›

10 Exercises to Improve Your Flexibility
  • Standing Quad Stretch. Stand with your feet together. ...
  • Standing Side Stretch. Standing with your feet together, lift your arms overhead. ...
  • Seated Hamstring Stretch. ...
  • Standing Calf Stretch. ...
  • Shoulder Stretch. ...
  • The Forward Hang. ...
  • Back stretch. ...
  • Butterfly Groin Stretch.
8 Mar 2022

Is Jumping Jacks muscular endurance? ›

The heart rate is increased while performing jumping jacks, which increases the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches the muscles. Jumping jacks aids in improving the stamina of the body and its overall endurance level.

Which activities are best for developing cardiorespiratory endurance quizlet? ›

Swimming and jogging can develop cardiorespiratory endurance.

What two activities can be used to measure strength and endurance? ›

Activities that build muscular endurance include long-distance running, cycling, or swimming, along with circuit training and bodyweight exercises. You can improve muscular strength and endurance by doing repetitive movements until the point of exhaustion.

Which of the following is considered as cardiovascular activity? ›

In other words, any type of activity that increases your heart rate and breathing rate can be considered cardiovascular exercise. Activities such as walking, running, jumping rope, cycling, playing with your children, gardening, walking stairs, dancing, and circuit training can all be used as forms of cardio exercise.

Which of these is an example of cardiovascular endurance? ›

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to exercise without becoming overly tired because your heart, lungs and blood vessels are healthy. Exercise examples include walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, running and bike riding. Distance swimming is also a good cardiovascular endurance exercise.

What are the 5 types of endurance? ›

What are the types of endurance training?
  • Basic endurance. Basic endurance is when you increase your heart rate by between 60 and 70%. ...
  • Tempo endurance. Tempo endurance is when you increase your heart rate by 75 – 85%. ...
  • Maximal endurance. ...
  • Lactic speed endurance. ...
  • Alactic speed endurance.
18 Aug 2022

What are the 10 activities in physical fitness? ›

These include:
  • Walking.
  • Dancing.
  • Swimming.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Jogging and running.
  • Aerobic exercise classes.
  • Bicycle riding (stationary or on a path)
  • Some gardening activities, such as raking and pushing a lawn mower.

What are the 4 types of endurance? ›

The types of endurance are aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, speed endurance and strength endurance.

What is the best cardiovascular activity? ›

Examples: Brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis and jumping rope. Heart-pumping aerobic exercise is the kind that doctors have in mind when they recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity.

What is the best cardio exercise? ›

Some of the best types of cardio exercise are running, cycling, swimming, walking, jumping rope, and HIIT. Walking is the easiest cardio activity to incorporate into your life and may help boost your immune system.

What physical fitness activity test the cardiovascular endurance? ›

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to work together to provide the needed oxygen and fuel to the body during sustained workloads. Examples would be jogging, cycling and swimming. The Cooper Run is used most often to test cardiovascular endurance.

What is the FITT principle for cardiovascular endurance? ›

Frequency – 5 to 6 times per week. Intensity – Easy to moderate, or about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate. Time – Anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes or more. Type – Any exercise you can do continually, like running, walking, cycling, swimming, rowing, stair-climber, elliptical trainer, etc.

How do beginners build cardio endurance? ›

Cardio Workouts for Beginners
  1. Walk and Climb. Some beginner physical activities include walking on the spot while watching TV for 30 minutes, or climbing the stairs to your flat at a moderate pace. ...
  2. (House)work it Out. ...
  3. Skipping. ...
  4. Jumping Jacks. ...
  5. Jogging on the Spot.

What are 10 ways to keep your heart healthy? ›

To help prevent heart disease, you can:
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get active.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Manage stress.
1 Sept 2021

What are those cardiovascular activity? ›

Cardio exercise, which is sometimes referred to as aerobic exercise, is any rhythmic activity that raises your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. This is the zone where you burn the most fat and calories. Some of the most common examples of cardio include walking, cycling, and swimming.

Is walking a cardio exercise? ›

According to the best cardiac surgery hospitals, walking is considered to be the best form of cardio activity. But to give a challenge to your cardiovascular system, you are required to walk at a speed and intensity that increase the load on your heart, muscle, and lungs.

How many cardio exercises are there? ›

A List of 14 Types of Cardio Exercises to Get You Moving. When most people think of cardiovascular (cardio) exercises, the first activities that come to mind are running, cycling, or swimming.

What are examples of aerobic activities or exercise? ›

What are some examples of aerobic exercise?
  • Swimming.
  • Cycling.
  • Using an elliptical trainer.
  • Walking.
  • Rowing.
  • Using an upper body ergometer (a piece of equipment that provides a cardiovascular workout that targets the upper body only).
16 Jul 2019

Which of the following activities best develops cardiorespiratory endurance? ›

Participating in aerobic activities is the best way to improve cardiorespiratory endurance because they require the body to use large amounts of oxygen for sustained periods of time. With the increased need for oxygen, the heart must beat faster to pump more blood throughout the body.

What are the examples of activities that develops flexibility and endurance? ›

How to improve your strength and flexibility
  • lifting weights.
  • working with resistance bands.
  • heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling.
  • climbing stairs.
  • hill walking.
  • cycling.
  • dance.
  • push-ups, sit-ups and squats.

What is cardiovascular endurance 3 minute step? ›

The “3-Minute Step Test” is designed to measure your aerobic fitness. It assesses your fitness level based on how quickly your heart rate recovers after exercise. The more aerobically fit you are, the quicker your heart rate will return to normal after exercise.

What is an example of frequency and cardiovascular endurance? ›

Frequency refers to how often you exercise.

For example, if you are targeting cardiorespiratory endurance at a moderate-intensity the frequency is 3-5 days, whereas vigorous intensity is 3 days.

How long a cardiorespiratory endurance workout session lasts? ›

Time (the duration or how long your physical activity lasts)

Your cardio sessions should last at least 10 minutes at a time. But the longer you are able to exercise, the more calories you will burn and the more endurance you will build.

What is the type of cardiovascular endurance? ›

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to exercise without becoming overly tired because your heart, lungs and blood vessels are healthy. Exercise examples include walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, running and bike riding. Distance swimming is also a good cardiovascular endurance exercise.

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