Most people thing stamina and endurance are the same thing, however they differ greatly. Stamina is the mental and physical ability to sustain an activity for a long period of time. Endurance, on the other hand, is the body’s physical capability to sustain an exercise over an extended period of time.
What is stamina?
Generally speaking, having good stamina is the opposite of feeling fatigued. It means you are energetic and can go on for long periods of time. Professional athletes need good stamina — especially football, basketball, and soccer players who spend the majority of their games running. Stamina isn’t a component of physical fitness, but is the result of becoming fitter.
What is endurance?
Endurance has two categories: cardiovascular endurance (ability of the heart and lungs to fuel the body with oxygen) and muscular endurance (ability of muscles to work continuously without getting tired).
How to increase stamina and endurance
Short answer is by exercising in a way that challenges your lungs and heart. Your body will adapt to the types of exercises you perform regularly. For example, if you have a workout that primarily includes push-ups and burpees, then eventually you will be accustomed to doing them and you will improve.
Try these tips:
- Try increasing your stamina and endurance by overloading, or making gradual increases in reps or intensity to continue improving your fitness. For example, instead of your regular 10-minute run, you can speed up your run or run on an incline.
- Exercise more than 150 minutes per week. Daily exercise can help boost your energy level and help you sleep better by increasing blood flow throughout your body.
- Yoga and meditation. Yoga can help you relax and improve your stamina to handle more intense workouts.
- HIIT. High-intensity interval training has lots of fast or hard moves with rest periods. HIIT also helps improve your blood pressure and minimize your abdominal fat.
- Opt for exercises you enjoy. Truth be told, you will only continue workouts that you enjoy doing. For some that might include lifting weights or running outside, for other it’s a dance class.
- Drink water. Drink water to keep yourself from dehydration.
Exercises to try:
- Brisk walking
After training consistently for two to three months, you should see (and feel) a visible improvement. Just be wary of when you are pushing for strength and stamina, or if you are pushing too hard. Workouts that are too intense, too soon, can lead to injuries or burnout.
Here are some more fitness tips, especially how to stretch your tight calves from work at home or running.
Photo via Inspire US