Building stamina is an important component of improving general fitness levels. Stamina is your ability to sustain exercise for long periods and is central to activities such as running, swimming, cycling and aerobics.
It is also a very useful attribute for athletes in a whole range of disciplines to possess, whether you are playing team sports such as soccer or rugby league, or involved in solo sports like boxing. With some simple steps, it is not hard to effectively build up stamina.
The key to building stamina is choosing the right fitness activity. This is all about improving endurance, so activities such as running or cycling are good choices. If your overall fitness levels are already quite good, test your stamina by running, cycling or swimming for 20 minutes. Evaluate how your body responds to this test to see where your current stamina levels are.
If you are not in great shape or are new to exercise, then try for five minutes instead. Test when your body begins to tire and how long you can maintain a good steady standard of performance. This then forms a base on which to build the rest of your stamina training.
Build stamina building activities into your training routine by including a weekly long run, cycle or swim in your weekly schedule. This can then be the focus for measurement and improvement. If you are in reasonable shape, start with 20 minutes of continuous activity. Try for 10 minutes if you are just starting out.
Small Increments and Achievable Targets
As you become fitter, look to increase this amount of time in small increments. The key is not to set targets that will be almost impossible to reach, as this will only discourage you. Small, achievable steps are vital for your confidence and sense of achievement.
Add between one and three minutes to your long, continuous run, swim or cycle every week. This way you are noticeably improving your stamina in achievable increments, which is good for your confidence. When your stamina begins to improve, add another long run, swim or cycle to your training schedule each week, or every alternate week.
Again, look to increase the length of time by between one and three minutes each time. It is well worth remembering that mental fortitude is a central part of having good stamina. These long stretches of activity are about disciplining your mind and body to deal with discomfort and thrive on adversity.
Making sure that you stick to a training programme is therefore vital to your continued success.
Mental and Physical Improvement
Building your stamina will have all kinds of positive effects on your health and well-being. Greater stamina means that you will have more energy throughout the day. It will also improve your mental health, giving you greater resolve. For athletes playing competitive sport, you will find your overall performance improves dramatically.
It also means that your decision making is improved for longer periods in games or matches, as the brain loses its sharpness when the body is tired. For further, more specialist fitness advice on improving stamina, speak to a fitness professional.
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