Ever felt like you were out of breath after doing seemingly normal things? Or wished you could run the same distance as your friend without stopping to catch your breath? If your answer to any of these is yes, then you can assume you have low stamina. Stamina controls how we do things in our daily life, and it affects our mental health to some extent. This is why a balanced stamina level is important. And if you’re an athlete, you already know how important high stamina is for you. Unfortunately, stamina levels can be lower than healthy for a lot of people. But no need to worry too much; you can definitely increase your stamina. But how do you do it?
Here is a guide to help you out. If you want to know how to build or increase stamina, keep reading.
What Is Stamina?
Most people use stamina to describe physical strength to some extent, but that’s not entirely correct. Stamina is a kind of strength, but it isn’t physical. Stamina means the strength you have to carry on doing mental or physical tasks. It is more focused on the duration than the energy input.
In simple words, stamina is the driving force that keeps you going when you’re doing something. It can be physical or mental, but the usual meaning is more physical strength leaning. A lot of times, people mix up stamina with endurance. Endurance is the ability to withstand the energy-burning process of doing something. Stamina, however, is the energy that drives you to endure something for a longer time.
What Does Having More Stamina Mean?
As you know, stamina is the energy and strength that keeps you going when you’re doing something. So what do people really mean when they say better stamina compared to others? Let’s see.
Stamina is a mixture of mental and physical strength. Both of these help you endure a task for an extended period. If you have low stamina, that means your body uses more energy to perform a task. This means you’ll get tired quickly and won’t be able to do something for long. Your recovery period will also be longer.
Higher stamina means the opposite. High stamina means your body will burn less energy to perform a task. So you’ll be able to do it for longer, and your recovery period will be shorter too. Having stamina also means you’ll take fewer mental hits for doing something. So your mental health will suffer less.
How to Increase Stamina: Tips That Actually Work
If you’re one of the people with low stamina, don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone and can improve your stamina if you put effort into it. Here are some tips you can follow to build your stamina.
1. Exercise Regularly
We can already hear the collective groan from here. Exercise is the best way of increasing your stamina, and this is possibly the least popular one. Most people grimace at the thought of having to sweat it off. You can’t really blame them. Our first instinct to feeling tired is thinking about laying down instead of moving our bodies and engaging muscles.
But regular exercise can considerably improve your stamina level. A 2017 study shows that exercise interventions can help people improve their fatigue levels. Exercise also releases endorphins which boost your brain. This hormone reduces discomfort during exercise and replaces it with happy feelings. Endorphins also help you feel less exhausted.
The best exercise for increasing stamina is cardio. You can also go for exercises like the bench press, but discuss these with your trainer first. If you don’t want to get a gym subscription, try long walking sessions. Pair it up with some running intervals, and you’re good.
HIIT cardio will be in the highlights section if you want to know how to build stamina. HIIT is one of your best friends when it comes to working out. It is known for increasing stamina level, metabolism, and burning calories super fast. Not to mention HIIT sessions are shorter than regular workout sessions, so you can squeeze a session in even when you’re in a hurry.
2. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
A balanced diet can solve pretty much all of your problems, trust us. A proper diet will give you the necessary energy and get you out of your lethargic state. For stamina build-up, focus more on whole foods. Incorporate more unprocessed food in your diet like fruits and leafy greens. These will cover the nutrients section, so if you have low stamina because of nutritional issues, you’ll get a boost.
Another thing you should do to get your stamina up is stay hydrated. Drinking enough water can get you a stamina boost. This is because dehydration usually wears people down and lowers the overall energy level of your body. So hydrating is another thing you should pay attention to if you want to increase your stamina.
3. Add Some Caffeine
This one probably raised some eyebrows, but you read it right. Caffeine intake can increase your stamina, but it won’t be drastic. And the source of caffeine can make it a little tricky too.
Studies show that taking a small dose of caffeine before your big task can get your stamina running. But make sure you don’t rely solely on caffeine cause it builds a tolerance really fast. Only take a small amount and be careful with the source too. Most caffeine sources have added sugars and preservatives, which can cause dehydration if you aren’t careful.
4. Yoga and Meditation
Yes, yoga and meditation can help you increase stamina too. It probably doesn’t look like that because these two are marketed as calming exercises. But they can also help with your stamina, trust us.
Yoga calms your nerves down and gives you better control of yourself. This will help you manage your energy better. And according to a study, people who do yoga and meditation feel an endurance boost and report feeling less fatigued. So if you want to take things down a few notches, yoga is your friend.
And there you have it, our guide on how to build stamina. The most important thing here is consistency. Switch your exercises up but don’t stop or skip a day. You’ll see your improvements in a pretty short time. And if you’re going down the exercise route, discuss how to increase stamina with your trainer so they can give you the best advice.
You may also like: The Science-Based Answer to The Age-Long Question “Should I Do Cardio Before or After Weights.”