Make your primary goal aerobic fitness if your priority is to improve your physical health and well-being. If you get out of breath climbing stairs or running for a bus, then it’s very likely that you need to improve your levels of aerobic fitness.
There may be less outward physical change in your body to help you measure your levels of aerobic fitness, but nevertheless, it is still possible to assess how in shape you are. Aerobic fitness is measured according to how well your heart and lungs can process oxygen, and carry it around your body to all the muscles that need it.
Measuring how effectively your heart is functioning is a key way to assess how good a condition you’re in. You can measure your heart rate by taking your own pulse, or by using a heart rate monitor. There are two important measurements you will need to check in order to assess your cardiovascular health:
Resting heart rate
The better shape you’re in, the slower your resting heart rate will be. As your heart gets stronger, it gets more efficient. This means that each time your heart beats it will send more blood pumping around your body.
Working heart rate
Measuring your heart rate as you exercise is the other half of the equation. As you get fitter, you will find that you can exercise at the same level of effort with a lower heart rate than when you first started to work out.
The best way to achieve a healthy heart and lungs is through regular bouts of slow, steady cardiovascular exercise. Great examples of this are walking, running, cycling or swimming.