Can’t make it through class without getting tired? If so, it’s time for you to dedicate your efforts to increasing your body’s stamina. Here are five expert tips for training your body to last longer during your workouts. You’ll be powering through class like a champion in no time!
How to increase and improve your stamina
- Increase aerobic activity to get your heart in shape
- Incorporate compound exercises into your workouts
- Eat a variety of superfoods and complex carbohydrates
- Ensure that you are staying hydrated
- Don’t forget to take rest breaks
Get your heart in shape
Increasing your heart strength will help you increase your stamina. Fitness director Kara Thomas says that to increase your body’s stamina, you’ll need to make your heart stronger during each workout by increasing your heart rate. When your heart rate is increased, it raises the volume of blood pumped through your veins, allowing it to flow faster and more efficiently. Regular aerobic activity will help your heart become stronger, which will increase your stamina over time and give you more energy.
To do this, Kara recommends starting with 20-30 minutes of cardio, five to seven days a week for two weeks. Then, kick the cardio up a notch to 45 minutes for two weeks. After a month, increase your cardio workouts to 60 minutes, at least five days a week. Before you know it, 60 minutes of cardio seven days a week will be a breeze!
Incorporate compound exercises into your workouts
Cardio workouts are important for building stamina, but fitness trainer and sports nutritionist Stacy Moutafis says to make sure that you’re also incorporating compound movements, such as chest presses and squats into your regular workout routine. These exercises engage more muscle tissue at once, which will help build stamina since your body will be utilizing more oxygen.
If muscular stamina is your goal, Stacy recommends using somewhat lighter resistance rather than going for the heaviest weights available. Aim to complete 2-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions during each weight training exercise.
While exercise is key for building stamina, you need to be sure that you’re eating enough of the foods that your body requires in order to reach your goal. Thomas recommends incorporating superfoods into your diet to support the needs of your body while you’re training. Her suggestions include: Quinoa, a super grain that provides your body with needed protein. Avocados and salmon, which are packed with Omega 3s and healthy fats that work to support muscle tissue. Making a post-workout snack of pomegranate seeds will help reduce inflammation, and kale, blueberries and bananas will pump your body full of valuable antioxidants.
If you’re pushing through your workout without stopping to sip some water, you’re actually not doing yourself any favors. According to Rob Fletcher, founder of ANGT America’s Next Great Trainer, proper hydration is key for building stamina. Dehydration during your workout will lead to loss of energy and actually decrease your aerobic and strength ability considerably.
Drinking a gallon of water every day is ideal, but this goal may seem hard to hit if you are only drinking a few cups of water a day. Try taking a break every 30 minutes to drink a glass of water, and slowly work your way up to drinking a full gallon.
Let your body rest
Building stamina requires you to push your body, but overdoing it can actually set back your progress – especially if you end up injuring yourself due to overexertion, says certified personal trainer Dempsey Marks. Build your fitness at a reasonable pace to avoid hurting yourself and make sure you give your muscles enough time to recover in between hard efforts.
Speaking of rest, making sure that your body gets a good night’s sleep will further help your cause, Dempsey says. A well-rested body is easier to train than one that’s running on just a few hours of sleep, so be sure to commit to getting enough shut-eye when you’re working on building stamina.