How long can you stay in the game? Stamina is a person’s ability to last longer during a state of physical exertion – how long you keep running, doing pushups or curling dumbbells. Lasting longer than every other competitor is all about stamina and it’s the universal quality of champions.
Stamina isn’t just about running, cycling or swimming distances. It’s about the ability of your heart and lungs to withstand the rigors of high-intensity exercise. Stamina incorporates both aerobic endurance, which involves low to moderate intensity exercise over a lengthy time period, and anaerobic endurance, which requires the ability to withstand high intensity exercise over time. We’ve got tips you can use to improve your endurance and boost stamina for better all-around performance.
Research suggests that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) greatly enhances anaerobic endurance. In a study published by the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers observed participants who engaged in average level intensity exercise for 60 minutes daily over six weeks. Those participants only improved their aerobic fitness without any tangible increase in anaerobic fitness. A separate group did high-intensity exercises for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in-between daily for six weeks. The high-intensity group improved both anaerobic and aerobic fitness over that period.
Circuit training is quite similar to HIIT training but with a difference in timing. Circuit training involves between three and 12 exercise stations that incorporate different exercises. Starting out with basic exercises that engage as many muscle groups as possible is ideal. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. As you gain more stamina, you should increase your workout time by 10-second intervals and decrease rest periods by intervals of five seconds. This way, you keep presenting your body with more of a challenge.
Weight training isn’t just for big, bulging muscles. It improves anaerobic stamina for physical feats of strength. To experience appreciable gains in anaerobic stamina, lift weights that tire out the muscles within seven to 15 repetitions. Weight training is best done with a rest period of between 24 to 48 hours after each lifting session.
The best exercises for aerobic fitness are the low intensity exercises even beginners can do. Walking, cycling, jogging, hiking or swimming are all forms of low to moderate intensity exercises that improve aerobic endurance.