Which Sports Work The Heart and Lungs Most?

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For those of you who don’t know CV (cardio vascular) fitness refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to provide the body with enough nutrients (mainly oxygen) for it to function during activity and remove waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid also. A CV system that is in good shape will allow an athlete to work harder and for longer periods of time. Sports like sprinting and discus do not work the CV system very much at all, as muscles do not use oxygen in fast powerful events. But there are sports that work the CV system more than others. Here are 3 of the top sports for this type of fitness.

Skiing. The variety of this sport known as cross-country skiing is actually the most demanding off all sports on the CV system. The is partly due to the cold air reducing the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed by the lungs (forcing them to be even more efficient), but also races take place over many miles and difficult terrain. On top of this, there isn’t a muscle in the body that is not required during the action of cross country skiing, meaning that the CV system needs to work overtime to provide them all with fuel. So if you’re looking to build your CV system, switch your snowboards for skis next time you’re on the slopes.

Cycling. Riding a bike, especially in competitive road racing, can cause the heart and lungs to work overtime as they attempt to feed the large leg muscles. The 7 time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong is testament to that, having one of the highest VO2 max scores of any athlete. This means that his body was able to take in and process more oxygen per minute than almost any other athlete on the planet.  Based on that evidence, if you’re thinking about getting rid of your old cycling machine or second hand bikes, you might want to think again.

Kayaking. Although kayaking does not use the lower body as much as other sports do, it still punishes the heart and lungs more than most. This is largely down to the fact that kayakers use their upper-bodies a vast amount and there are hundreds of smaller muscles here demanding the large supply of oxygen and removal of lots of carbon dioxide. For second hand kayaks and surfboards check out EST.

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