Also known as endurance, stamina determines your ability to sustain an effort over time. It can be physical or mental. The latter may be characterized by difficulty focusing, for example.
Whether you’re studying for exams or training for marathons, increasing your stamina will stave off stress and diminish discomfort. High endurance levels also leave you less fatigued after completing tasks. These benefits carry over into daily life, where you feel more energetic and motivated to tackle objectives.
You can boost your stamina naturally in numerous ways. Here are 5 tips to help you get started.
There are four types of exercise:
Effective workout regimens incorporate all four aspects – just not every day. Instead, athletes alternate depending on their goals. Of course, you’ll want to focus on endurance or aerobic exercises. This includes cycling, running, swimming, and walking. Below are some guidelines to follow when establishing your routine:
- The activity should utilize major muscle groups repetitively for extended periods
- It’s performed 3-5 times per week in 30 to 60-minute sessions
- It’s something you enjoy and look forward to
When building physical stamina, your lungs are crucial to reaching new heights. The healthier they are, the further you can go. Aside from avoiding secondhand smoke and eating antioxidant-rich food, you can also strengthen your lungs with deep breathing. Simply choose a technique and practice it regularly.
Popular methods include diaphragmatic breathing, resonant breathing, and pursed lip breathing. You can also leverage the Bohr Effect for an additional endurance boost. It’s primarily about breathing through your nose, which lowers blood pressure and heart rate to enable longer stretches of exertion.
While deep breathing has physical benefits, mindfulness focuses on improving your mental stamina.
Consider the famous study of 27 medical students who attended yoga and meditation classes for two months. Significant reductions in stress and fatigue were reported. They also experienced increases in endurance and an overall sense of wellness. However, meditation offers far more than that, including:
- Enhancing focus and concentration
- Managing anxiety and depression
- Preventing pain
Needless to say, these effects can make noticeable changes to your stamina, both mental and physical. We often fail to reach our potential because of mental roadblocks that appear long before any physical barriers stand in the way. Mindfulness practice is therefore essential to every kind of athlete.
This ancient medicinal herb is said to have various endurance-enhancing properties. Consuming ashwagandha, which is also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry, may elicit effects such as:
- Lower blood sugar
- Reduced cortisol (stress)
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Improved brain function and memory
Many of the plant’s health benefits stem from high concentrations of withanolides. Studies have shown that the substance can fight inflammation and slow tumor growth. Ashwagandha is regarded as safe for most people and you can purchase it from health food stores in capsule form. The long-term effects are yet to be determined.
In addition to the solutions outlined above, there are several less obvious ways to boost your stamina.
Take your approach to recovery time and resistance. Reducing both factors translates to shorter rests and more repetitions. Coupled with a balanced workout regimen, these adjustments will help you build endurance faster. The same is true for explosive exercises, which can be performed occasionally to strengthen your tolerance to intensity.
Spreading your sessions over the week and allocating sufficient rest days is no less important. Don’t forget to work on mobility. Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, or simple stretches, flexibility must be maintained at all times.
Each of these tips can make a world of a difference to your stamina. And if all else fails, there’s always coffee.