Sticking to an exercise regimen can help you control your weight, cut your risk of chronic disease and boost your self-esteem and coordination. Whether you already get regular physical activity or are just starting out, you’ll need to build stamina to meet fitness goals without risking soreness or injury. Use simple strategies to increase endurance to complete your workout.
When you start a new exercise program, it’s important to gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout rather than pushing yourself into a full program immediately. If you want to start running, you should combine walking and running or break up your workout into two shorter sessions each day until you build enough stamina to run the desired distance. If you're coming off an injury, consult a physician or physical therapist so you can develop a fitness regimen that slowly builds your endurance and strength.
A diet rich in carbohydrates can provide your body with starches and sugars that your muscles can use as energy to boost endurance, according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The council notes that you should eat foods such as cereal, bread, fruits, vegetables, pasta and milk to obtain carbohydrates, and that you’ll increase your fitness performance if more than half of the calories you consume daily feature carbohydrates.
Keep yourself hydrated while exercising to prevent a reduction in your endurance. The Sawtooth National Forest website of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service notes that stamina goes down by approximately 25 percent when you lose 1.5 quarts of water and recommends drinking 4 quarts each day to replace liquids lost during exercise. Drink water before, during and after physical activity. You can also consume a sports drink featuring electrolytes, which also contains carbohydrates that can boost stamina.
Curb Bad Habits
Habits that affect your health and physical fitness can negatively affect your stamina. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends quitting smoking, for instance, since the habit can impair your lung function and cut your endurance when participating in athletic activities.
Inspirational tactics and a positive mental attitude can help you meet physical challenges as you build stamina, notes cross-country cyclist Dave Levy in an article for the "Ohio Today" magazine of Ohio University. Levy recommends working out with a partner so you can help each other stay motivated and keep up with fitness goals. If you participate in a physical activity outdoors, Levy also suggests finding a way to maintain the workout routine throughout the months with inclement weather since you’ll have to rebuild your stamina if you take an extended break from the routine.
- Go Ask Alice: Beginning to Exercise and Out of Breath!
- President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: How to Eat Healthy
- United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service: Recreational Activities Safety Tips
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Tips For Coaches, Defending Your Goals!
- Ohio Today: Building Your Stamina