The Best Cardiorespiratory Fitness Exercises for Young Men to Reduce Cancer Risk

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These best cardiorespiratory fitness exercises can help young men reduce their risk of 9 cancers, heart attack, and more.

If you're a young man looking to boost your health and lower your risk of cancer, we've got some exciting news for you. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that good cardiorespiratory fitness can reduce your risk of 9 different types of cancer, including stomach, kidney, and lung cancer, by up to 40%.

In this article, we'll dive into the world of cardiorespiratory exercises and show you the best ways to enhance your fitness levels and safeguard your future.

What Is Cardiorespiratory Fitness?

“Cardiorespiratory fitness, especially in the context of young men, is about the synergy between the heart, lungs, and muscles, working together to supply oxygen and nutrients efficiently during sustained physical activity,” says Mike Julom, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of This Is Why I’m Fit in Newark, Delaware.

Exercises You Can Do to Boost Your Cardio Fitness

Examples of exercises that can improve your cardio fitness include:

  • Running and Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Jump Rope
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Dancing
  • Rowing
  • Elliptical Training
  • Hiking
  • Aerobic Classes

Why Is Cardiorespiratory Fitness Important for Young Men?

Cardiorespiratory fitness can help boost your performance in sports, improve your energy and focus, and boost your overall health.

Performance Boost in Sports and Activities

“You know how some guys just seem to have that extra edge in sports or at the gym? That's often cardiorespiratory fitness at work,” says Julom. “It's not just about being able to run longer or faster; it's about recovering quickly between plays in a soccer game or sets in a weightlifting session.”

Better Daily Energy and Focus

Having a well-tuned cardiorespiratory system isn't just about sports. It spills over into daily life.

“Young men who've worked on this aspect often tell me they feel more energetic and focused throughout the day, whether it's in class, at work, or just hanging out with friends,” says Julom. “It's like having a full tank of high-octane fuel that keeps you going. You wake up feeling refreshed, and that energy carries you through the day.”

Helps Long-Term Health

Working on cardiorespiratory fitness when you're young isn't just about the here and now. It's like making an investment in your future self.

“By building a strong heart, efficient lungs, and a responsive vascular system, you're laying down a foundation for health that can carry you well into adulthood,” says Julom. “Think of it as a shield against some of the common health issues that can crop up later in life, like heart disease or chronic fatigue.”

How Young Men Can Improve Their Cardiorespiratory Fitness

“Improving cardiorespiratory fitness for young men is about embracing a well-rounded approach,” says Julom. “It starts with incorporating a mix of high-intensity and endurance exercises, like sprints and swimming, that challenge the heart and lungs.”

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

You can make it fun through social activities or music to help keep you motivated. “Consistency is key, so finding a routine that fits into daily life and sticking with it will lead to noticeable improvements,” says Julom. “It's not just about working hard; it's about working smart and enjoying the journey to a fitter, healthier self.”

The Best Exercises a Young Man Can Do to Boost His Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Julom recommends the 5 exercises below to help you boost your cardio fitness.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Sprints


  • Warm up with a light jog, then sprint at full intensity for 20-30 seconds, followed by a 1-minute walk or jog.
  • Repeat this cycle 8-10 times.
  • Making It Fun: Challenge friends to join you, or create a playlist with your favorite pump-up songs to keep you motivated.
  • Frequency: Do it 2-3 times a week for maximum benefits.

Swim Sprints with Rest Intervals


  • After warming up, swim one lap at full speed, then rest or swim slowly for 1 minute.
  • Repeat for 10-12 laps.
  • Making It Fun: Try different strokes or join a local swim club to make it a social activity.
  • Frequency: Do it 2-3 times a week for a refreshing and effective workout.

Circuit Training with Body Weight


  • Do a mix of push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks.
  • Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest in between.
  • Complete 3-4 cycles with a 1-minute rest between cycles.
  • Making It Fun: Mix and match exercises, or do it with friends to keep it fresh and engaging.
  • Frequency: Do it 3-4 times a week to keep the heart pumping and muscles engaged.

Dance Cardio Workouts


  • Follow a dance workout video or join a dance class, aiming for 30-45 minutes of continuous movement.
  • Making It Fun: Choose music and dance styles you love, and don't be afraid to let loose and enjoy the rhythm.
  • Frequency: Do it 3 times a week for a fun and energetic boost to fitness.

Rowing Machine Intervals


  • Warm up, then row at full intensity for 1 minute, followed by 2 minutes of slow rowing.
  • Repeat 8-10 times.
  • Making It Fun: Challenge yourself with virtual rowing races or join a rowing club.
  • Frequency: Do it 2-3 times a week for a full-body cardio workout.

Precautions Young Men Should Take When Doing Cardiorespiratory Fitness Exercises

To prevent injury when doing cardiorespiratory fitness exercises, here are some precautions Julom recommends:

1. Do Proper Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Jumping into high-intensity exercises without a proper warm-up can lead to strains or injuries. Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up with light jogging, stretching, or other low-intensity movements. Similarly, cooling down with gentle stretching and relaxation helps the body recover and minimizes post-workout stiffness.

2. Listen to Your Body

While pushing oneself can lead to growth, it's vital to recognize the difference between a healthy challenge and overexertion. If you feel sharp pain, dizziness, or extreme fatigue, it's a sign to slow down or stop. Understanding your body's signals and respecting its limits is key to safe and effective training.

3. Focus on Technique and Form

Especially in exercises like HIIT with sprints, circuit training, and rowing, maintaining proper form is crucial. Incorrect technique can lead to imbalances, strains, or long-term injuries. If unsure, seeking guidance from a fitness professional or using a mirror to check alignment can be beneficial.

4. Maintain Hydration and Nutrition

These exercises demand a lot from the body, so fueling it correctly is essential. Staying hydrated before, during, and after the workout supports performance and recovery. Eating a well-balanced meal a couple of hours before exercising provides the necessary energy while a post-workout meal rich in proteins and carbohydrates aids in recovery.


To sum it up, cardiorespiratory fitness exercises are essential for young men aiming to lower their risk of developing various cancers.

Regular cardio workouts enhance your heart health, strengthen your muscles, and boost your overall fitness.

Remember, consistency is key. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio exercises per week, as the American Heart Association recommends.

So, whether you're running, cycling, swimming, or dancing, each cardiorespiratory fitness session contributes to a healthier you and reduces your cancer risk significantly.

Lace up, dive in, or dance your way to a better future – your heart and body will thank you!

What do you think? Have you done any of these exercises before? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

Isaac Nunoofio is a freelance health, wellness, fitness, nutrition, and medical communications writer and copywriter for hire. He has over 10 years of experience writing health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and healthcare articles. He is a Google-certified digital marketer, Content Marketing Institute-certified content marketer, and very knowledgeable about SEO. He helps bloggers, websites, magazines, health professionals, hospitals/clinics, B2C, and B2B healthcare companies and brands to create health content.

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