Cardio Endurance and How to Increase O2 Delivery
Generally, most people just do various cardiovascular endurance exercises and activities, but do not have a system or method that provides clear test-criteria and guarantee specific benefits after acheiving certain results. However, our system is based on the body oxygen test that predicts amazing health benefits at 60+ s for the body oxygen test. These benefits include 4 hours of great sleep (naturally and without trying), a natural desire (often craving!) to exercise, and many other effects (see the last Table on this page below). In order to experience these effects, you need to change the way you breathe 24/7 or to retrain breathing.
is defined as the ability of the heart to provide enough oxygen to
muscles during physical exercise for a long period of time. Elite endurance
athletes always have very high VO2max (usually over 70 ml/kg/min in males).
VO2max (maximum O2 consumption measured in ml of O2 per kg of body weight in 1
minute) is mainly an inherited factor. Therefore, you need to have super genes
to become an Olympic champion. However, whatever your current VO2max, optimum
training and correct breathing 24/7 can increase it by up to 15-20 units. Let us consider how.
Oxygen is provided
via respiration. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the ideal or optimum
breathing patterns at rest and during exercise that provide maximum
O2 amounts for muscles of the body.
Clinical experience of more than 150 Soviet and Russian medical doctors
with sick patients and elite athletes suggests that people with more
frequent and deep breathing at rest have reduced cardio fitness and less O2
levels in cells. My own experience with hundreds of my students agrees with
observations of these doctors.
If you pay close attention to breathing of very fit and healthy
elite athletes at rest and during exercise, you can notice that they breathe slower
and less in both situations. (Note that millions of people believe that
breathing deeper or more air improves O2 delivery to cells, but hundreds of
clinical studies proved that hyperventilation reduces O2 transport to body
cells.) Here is a summary of main findings related to 4 common breathing
patterns at rest. You can click the links to see dozens of studies that
confirm these numbers.
Table. MV (Minute Ventilation) and Rf (Respiratory Frequency) at
*Chronic diseases include heart disease, diabetes, asthma, COPD,
cystic fibrosis, cancer, and many others. Study
Hyperventilation Syndrome for
references and numbers.
As it is easy to observe, heavy breathing at rest results in relatively
heavy breathing during exercise and that makes moderate or intensive
exercise in the sick very difficult or impossible.
Table. Minute ventilation during moderate exercise (15-fold
|Short-term respiratory effects
|| Blood lactate
|| Duration of performance
||About 150 L/min
||Maximum mouth ventilation
|| Very high
|| A few minutes
||Heavy nose breathing
|| 1-2 hours
|Super health states
||Easy nose breathing
|| Nearly normal
|| Many hours
In spite of huge improvements in diet, modern people are less fit and have
reduced cardio endurance in comparison with people living about a century ago.
This graph explains the cause.
Furthermore, fast or deep breathing at rest undermines desire of ordinary
people and athletes to exercise and do sport activities, their sports performance
and cardiovascular endurance, as the next Table and its examples show.
Table. Examples of automatic breathing patterns on cardio endurance
1-5 s CP
||Very heavy breathing pattern
Physical activity can be
life-threatening since acute exacerbation can occur at any moment due to critically low body oxygen level.
5-10 s CP
|| Heavy breathing pattern
Exercise can cause acute exacerbation of health problems
(asthma attacks, stroke, angina pain, seizures, and so forth). Poor
11-20 s CP
||Ineffective breathing pattern
||Most people experience and complain about chronic fatigue,
but can walk with only nose breathing for hours on a flat surface.
Fit athletes can exercise with mouth breathing. Cardiovascular endurance and health are greatly compromised.
20-30 s CP
||Deep breathing pattern
||There are less or no complaints about fatigue. Physical
activity (e.g., easy relaxed jogging) is well tolerated, but requires considerable
psychological effort and self-discipline, unless one is an athlete.
Reduced cardiovascular endurance.
30-40 s CP
||Light degree of hyperventilation
comfortable and relatively easy, but a systematic or daily exercise routine
generally requires some self-discipline. Subnormal level of cardiovascular endurance.
40-60 s daily CP, less than 40 s morning CP
||Subnormal breathing pattern
||Exercise is easy and pleasant; nose breathing
during exercise is natural and comfortable. Nearly normal levels of cardiovascular endurance and performance.
About 60 s morning CP
Normal breathing pattern
joyful and people crave it. Level of energy is very high. If people force themselves not to
exercise, their CP drops. Physiologically normal cardiovascular endurance.
Over 90 s MCP
||Very light breathing pattern
||States of super
health with enhanced cardiovascular endurance
For more information how basal breathing patterns determine
health symptoms, lifestyle, and health states, visit
Buteyko Table of Health
Natural lifestyle choices before and after breathing retraining
||Body oxygen < 30 s
||Body oxygen > 50 s
||Medium, low, or very low
|Desire to exercise
||Not strong, but possible
||Craving and joy of exercise
|Intensive exercise with nose breathing
||Hard or impossible
||Easy and effortless
|Typical mind states
||Confusion, anxiety, depression
||Focus, concentration, clarity
|Craving for coffee, sugar and junk foods
|Addictions to smoking, alcohol, and drugs
|Desire to eat raw foods
||Weak and rare
||Very common and natural
||Rare and requires efforts
||Natural and automatic
||Often of poor quality; > 7 hours
||Excellent quality; < 5 hours naturally
How to increase cardio endurance (lifestyle examples)
There are 3 main
respiratory factors that produce negative effects on body oxygenation and
cardiovascular endurance: thoracic (chest) breathing, mouth breathing
(during sleep or exercise), and
habitual overbreathing (increased breathing frequency and tidal volume at
rest). All these factors reduce body oxygenation and worsen sport
performance, physical health, muscular endurance, sleep, recovery from injuries, digestion,
metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and reduce other benefits. One needs
to reverse these lifestyle factors in order to increase cardio fitness and VO2max.
Our basal or unconscious breathing pattern
at rest is the main factor that defines cell oxygen levels. Hence,
when we breathe faster and deeper at rest
(chronic hyperventilation), we have less oxygen in body cells and less
desire and motivation to exercise. Furthermore, overbreathing, which is
present in over 90% of modern athletes, leads to reduced cardiovascular endurance,
hampered recovery after workout and injuries, symptoms of chronic diseases, and
many other effects. You surely know about examples of famous athletes who have, had
or even died from chronic conditions.
How to improve cardio fitness (specific goals)
You can increase your cardiorespiratory and
cardiovascular endurance and VO2max by slower and easier unconscious breathing at rest (during sleep too).
You need to breathe so slowly that your body oxygenation gets up to 50-60 seconds 24/7.
Then you will be very fit and will enjoy exercise and greatly improved physical health. If you want to be super fit and get super benefits from sport activities and exercise, you need to get up to 2-3 minutes for the body-oxygen test by slowing down your
automatic or unconscious breathing to 3-5 breaths per minute at ret. One can get up
to 5-7 units of VO2max increase
(in ml/kg/min) just by changing their basal breathing pattern. This site provides detailed instructions how
to increase cardiorespiratory endurance using natural remedies and techniques.
This old YouTube video (on the right side) explains how and why exercise
with nose breathing is the most essential health factor for an ordinary person
in order to fight and cure chronic diseases (such as asthma, hypertension,
diabetes and many others) and increase cardio fitness. The video provides quotes
from Dr. Buteyko Lecture at the Moscow State University.
You can also click this link to watch the same video on YouTube:
How to improve
Cardio endurance for super fitness and elite athletes
If you are in competitive sports and fitness and want to improve your
cardiovascular endurance, there is one great device that maximizes exercise
benefits. It allows one to increase exercise efficiency nearly 2 times even
in comparison with exercise with strictly nasal breathing. I have been testig this device myself for over 3 years. Many of my best breathing students also found great benefits of this device on health, fitness and cardio stamina. You can find the link to my review of this device right below here as your bonus content.
Sport and fitness articles:
breathing exercise for higher VO2max
- Increase VO2max by breathing differently at rest
- Exercise is
joy if the body is oxygenated at rest
- When exercise is 100% safe
for chronic diseases
- Why modern man gets little, if any, benefits from exercise
- Which exercise parameters increase body oxygenation
You can leave your feedback and comments below. Thanks.