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Components of Fitness


The term “cardiorespiratory” is a blend of the words cardiovascular and respiratory. These words describe body systems that function to get oxygen to tissues in the body. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and blood vessels which transport blood throughout the body. The respiratory system includes the lungs and where oxygen is brought into the body and carbon dioxide is expelled. Each of these systems plays an important role in getting oxygen to working tissues, specifically skeletal muscles, during exercise.

Body systems can adapt to the demands placed upon them. Training regularly with aerobic exercise or conditioning can cause the cardiorespiratory system to work more efficiently, thus improving heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease.

During aerobic exercise, heart rate increases to pump blood more quickly to working muscles. Breathing depth and rate will also increase to get more oxygen into the lungs, where it is picked up by the blood.

Exercises that are aerobic in nature include movements that…

  • are repetitive
  • involve large muscle groups
  • can be performed repeatedly for extended periods of time
  • increase heart rate

Examples of aerobic exercises:

  • walking briskly
  • jogging/ running
  • rowing
  • swimming
  • aerobics
  • biking/ cycling
  • skating
  • stair climbing
  • hiking


A Guide to Physical Fitness Copyright © by Jen Hilker. All Rights Reserved.

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