Does a walk with your dog leave you breathless and feeling a bit winded? You probably have a lack of stamina (or your dog is chasing you like crazy).
What is Stamina?
Stamina is defined as your ability to sustain prolonged mental or physical effort. If you have good stamina, you should be able to do the following activities without feeling exhausted.
– Perform daily activities that require high energy levels
– Push through fatigue, discomfort, or pain when exercising
– Take longer walks and hikes
– Lift heavyweights in the gym
– Run faster and for longer distances
Good stamina helps you perform better, physically and mentally.
Endurance vs. stamina
You may have seen the terms endurance and stamina used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. Endurance is the power to endure a challenging situation without giving way. In relation to fitness, you can build muscular or cardiovascular endurance. Muscular endurance refers to the muscle’s ability to support repetitive movements using a given load. Cardiovascular endurance is the lungs, heart, and blood vessels’ ability to maintain and support rhythmic exercise like running, cycling, and swimming.
Stamina is a combination of energy and strength that makes you physically able to sustain effort for longer periods of time. If you have higher stamina, you can move more using a small amount of energy.
You need endurance in all physical activities, from walking your dog to attending an aerobics class. Increased stamina pushes your body through workouts and makes you feel less tired.
If you want to build up your endurance and stamina, here are some science-backed recommendations that can help you.
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When you’re at the gym and feel the tiredness taking over your body, your brain tells you to lie down or go home rather than keep going and moving your body. But if you exercise regularly, you improve your stamina and endurance and give your body an energy boost. Studies show that you can improve your energy levels in 6 weeks if you exercise regularly. Exercising releases endorphins that can alleviate the feeling of tiredness you experience. Researchers state that endorphins are essential when you exercise because they minimise discomfort and block pain by replacing them with happy feelings.
Have a diet rich in nutrients
A balanced diet is vital for improving your endurance and boosting your energy levels during your workouts or other daily activities that require physical effort. Introduce whole foods, plenty of healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, and fruits in your diet, and cut down the amount of processed foods and sugar you eat.
Carbohydrates are also important, even if most diets demonise them because they provide essential nutrients, especially when you exercise regularly. Studies show that eating carbohydrates a couple of hours before engaging in the physical effort can improve your performance and energy and prevent you from feeling exhausted right away. Carbs work as fuel sources, so add rice, pasta, potatoes, and whole grains to your diet.
Take fulvic ionic minerals
Conventional supplements are found at every supermarket, but sadly, they don’t recreate the nutrients and minerals your body needs for optimal functionality and health. Your body is created to respond best to the supplements closest to what comes from nature. Fulvic ionic minerals are 100% bioactive and bioavailable and can boost your endurance and stamina. Other fulvic acid benefits are increased energy levels, body cleansing, a natural source of electrolytes, and improved circulation. When using these supplements, you’ll notice that your overall concentration increases, you sleep better, and you have better immunity.
No one can stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated. Dehydration makes you mentally exhausted, fatigued and feeling weak. Studies show that drinking water before, during, and after training can prevent injuries, delay fatigue, and improve performance. You should drink at least 2 litres of water daily to enable your body to perform day-to-day activities without feeling exhausted.
However, ensure that you’re not overhydrating yourself because it can also negatively affect your stamina and endurance. Research states that being too hydrated boosts stress levels and impairs performance because it makes you feel very full, and you have to urinate a lot.
Switch to a new fitness routine, but be consistent
Fitness provides you with a broad range of exercises and physical activities you can choose from, and science tells that if you commit to a single type of exercise, your body stops making progress after a point. However, switching your routine weekly can also deter progress. So, what should you do? Commit to a workout routine for 4 weeks before changing to another, to get maximum stamina gains. When you feel that the exercises you perform no longer motivate you or don’t see any progress, change the routine for a new one. If you prefer weight lifting, ensure that you stick to the same exercises for at least a month before switching to other ones.
Listen to music
Listening to music can improve your endurance and stamina. Studies concluded that music keeps your heart rate low when you work out, and therefore your body uses less energy and enables you to work out for longer periods before feeling tired. Research also shows that when you exercise listening to your favourite tunes, you can exercise longer than when there is no music in the gym, or you don’t like the sounds. Music delays fatigue enhances exercise performance and increases strength, power, and endurance.
Allow your body to rest and recover
After a week filled with physical activities, take time to recover and rest. It may sound counterintuitive, but resting properly is essential in improving endurance and stamina. Sleep deprivation can make you feel fatigued. And it’s not just about sleeping seven or eight hours a night but also getting quality sleep. Remove all factors that may disturb you during the night from your bedroom, and put your phone away an hour before going to bed to allow your brain to get into the right state.
Remember that the key to boosting your stamina and endurance is to challenge yourself. You must be consistent in maintaining the above lifestyle habits.