Cardio conditioning is the most basic as well as most effective general fitness exercise regime to increase your general endurance targeting your lungs, heart, and your whole cardio respiratory system.
It not only increases your systemic and muscular function, it also enables you to tolerate any activity for longer periods of time.
Cardiovascular exercise is not just doing the treadmill for about 20 minutes or riding a stationary bike, you need to keep your heart rate up with functional movements. These functional movements are best learned from a personal fitness trainer. This includes basic movement patterns such as squats, bending, lunges, rotational movements, etc.
Spending about 30 minutes a day of exercise for three to four times a week is a time well spent for your overall general health. If you exercise for half-an-hour three or four days a week, that is only two hours of your time a week and the benefit is long term.
For geriatric people who had a hip or knee replacement or had compression fracture, cardiovascular conditioning should be started as early as the first 24 hours of bed rest. This helps prevent any other complications such as pneumonia, bed sore, or even muscle atrophy. Because of their delicate condition, they incorporate some type of cardiovascular exercise with their rehabilitation program. This includes the use of machines such as treadmills, stair climbing machines, weighted pulley system, etc.
This strategy targets the lungs and heart while dealing with other problems which was their main reason for rehab such as the total hip replacement, total knee replacement or multiple fractures in the back.
But before you engage in any cardiovascular exercise, consult your doctor first if you suffer from any heart conditions. There are some conditions wherein cardiovascular exercise in contraindicated such as myocardial infarction, heart attack, or congestive heart failure.