Almost everyone exercises to improve strength, speed and physique. But if you really want to get the most out of your fitness sessions, it is essential that you train to improve your stamina as well.
One of the most asked questions is ‘how to increase stamina for running.’ Running – this is what we tend to associate stamina with. But, in reality, stamina does a lot more than help you run faster and longer.
- Stamina helps you lift heavier
- It helps you do more reps while exercising
- It helps you take tougher hikes
- It helps you push past the discomfort and fatigue
- And most importantly, it helps you take on your daily tasks with high energy levels
So, the question is, “How to increase stamina”? The answer is - by making a few changes in the way you workout and exercise. The goal should be about making your body more efficient while you perform each exercise. For this, choosing the right mix of workouts is important. What you eat and what goes in your body to power your movements is also just as important.
Read on to learn what you can do to increase your stamina.
Choose Compound Exercises Over Isolation
For everyone asking how to increase stamina, the first and most important thing is to include compound exercises in your workout instead of focusing only on isolation exercises. Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For example, a compound exercise, such as squatting, works calves, glutes and quadriceps. On the other hand, an isolation exercise, such as a traditional bicep curl, strengthens just the biceps.
In addition to increasing stamina, compound exercises have other benefits as well, such as:
- More calorie burnout
- Improved heart rate
- Improved intramuscular coordination
- More muscle mass
- Improved strength and flexibility
Add Strength Training to Your Cardio Routine
One example is using the bench press and then switching to pull-ups right after. You can also use the treadmill during the time you use to rest between strength sets. Ask your trainer for more of such combination exercises.
Reduce Resistance and Recovery Time
If you’re wondering how to improve stamina, you can’t miss this tip. Instead of lifting heavy and taking more recovery time between repetition sets, reduce the resistance as well as the recovery time. You can reduce the resting time to 30 seconds or less for effective stamina building. An article in the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research published in 2006 confirmed the same.
However, this should be under the supervision of a trainer since it can also cause damage to muscles if your body is not used to taking short breaks between sets.
Include Meditation in Your Fitness Regime
Stamina does not only refer to physical strength; being mentally fit is equally important. This is because if you can get past the stress and perceived boredom, you can exercise for longer at your maximum capacity. Therefore, mindfulness exercises, such as meditation, are essential in improving your mental stamina. It also translates to improved patience and mental wellbeing. Deep breathing exercises or yoga are extremely helpful too in improving mental stamina.
Try High-Volume Weightlifting with the Right Fitness Equipment
Volume in weightlifting refers to the total load you lift in a session, which is calculated by multiplying reps and weight. For example, for three sets of 10 squats, each with 50 Kg, the total volume will be 10 x 3 x 50, which is 1500 Kg.
Studies show that volume is extremely effective in resistance training. High volume pushes your lungs and heart to work harder. And this, in turn, improves your cardiovascular fitness and stamina. However, make sure to gradually increase the volume and let your body adapt to increasing volume levels.
Give Your Body Enough Time to Rest and Recover
While cardio and resistance training are important in increasing stamina, giving your body enough time to rest and recover is important too. Resistance training, or any strenuous workout routine for that matter, causes muscle wear and tissue breakdown. Allowing yourself a break every week gives tissues, nerves, and muscles time to rebuild and grow back stronger. Therefore, schedule a couple of days in a week where you will provide your body with a break from working out. Also, make sure to hydrate yourself and get quality sleep.
Nutrients That Increase Stamina
- Complex Carbohydrates: It is the primary source our bodies get glycogen and glucose to produce the energy needed to increase stamina.
- Protein: Protein breaks down into amino acid, which rebuilds torn muscle and increases muscle density and strength.
- Iron: It is a critical element for the production of energy and also prevents fatigue and dizziness.
- Vitamin C: It prevents cold and flu that can set your stamina back.
Supplements That Boost Stamina
Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine helps in rapidly increasing ATP production, improving the anaerobic energy system, and reducing recovery time after high-intensity workout sessions.
Caffeine: Caffeine helps in releasing adrenaline and enhances the nervous system. This helps in pumping more blood to the muscles quickly, which means a quick release of glucose for faster energy production.
Beta-Alanine: Beta-alanine is an amino acid derivative that increases stamina by delaying fatigue. Fatigue is the result of hydrogen ion accumulation during strenuous training. And, beta-alanine reduces muscles’ ability to accumulate hydrogen ion.
- BCAAs: Branched Chain Amino Acids reduce proteolysis or muscle protein breakdown. This helps in faster muscle recovery and better immune response to physical exercise.
How to Increase Stamina by Eating the Right Foods
Wondering how to increase stamina naturally? Here is a list of food items that you should start consuming:
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
Note: Avoid consuming fried food, dairy products, and alcohol.
A Quick Stamina-Building Routine
A lot of us do not practically have the time or passion for starting weight training. But a simple exercise routine can help increase stamina dramatically.
Here’s a 6-step routine that you can follow for brilliant results:
- Warm-up the body for 2 to 3 minutes. You can do walking lunges, bodyweight squats, and exercises to stretch the quadriceps, gluteal muscles, and calf muscles.
- Walk on the treadmill for 2 minutes at a comfortable pace and no incline.
- Now increase the treadmill’s incline to the maximum or a few points less and start walking at a faster pace.
- After 1 minute of fast walking (almost jogging), decrease the incline angle by 4 to 5 points but make sure to maintain the pace.
- After 1 minute, set the incline angle back to zero and walk at a slower pace (rest pace) for two minutes.
- Repeat this process until you have completed a maximum of 30 minutes of this routine.
This simple 30-minute routine will help in the release of endorphins in your body which is critical in improving stamina.Stamina not only helps you become stronger, but it also helps you live a quality life with energy. So, start your stamina training today. Good luck!