There’s a common phrase that sweeps across most fitness-focussed guides, and if you’re a regular on the workout scene, you’re probably more than familiar with the encouraging words of “next week, push yourself to achieve more”. Whether it’s distance, laps or reps, the goal of any physical activity is always to better yourself with each passing attempt.
However, our efforts are usually limited by one joining factor, and this manifests itself in the form of our stamina; otherwise known as physical endurance. It’s best defined as how far you’re able to push yourself before throwing in the towel. For some, only a brief amount of exercise is needed before coming face to face with the wall, whilst others will be barely breaking a sweat an hour in. Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, you’ll be pleased to know that undertaking regular amounts of exercise is the perfect way to increase your stamina levels; and better your output.
It’s all in the efficiency of your red blood cells, and their ability to transport valuable oxygen to where it’s needed most in your system. As you increase your level of exercise, this process becomes much quicker and much more seamless, which in turn, will better your body’s stamina and endurance levels. Some techniques are better for increasing your stamina levels than others, so today, we’d like to bring to you our go-to endurance-boosting top tips:
Take The Stairs - This is one of the most effective forms of exercise to increase your stamina, and due to the ready availability of stairs, is one of the most accessible options too! Whether you choose to shoot up to the top step, or prefer to take your time, there really is no wrong way to do this. But just remember as you go, that you’ll be significantly benefitting your thighs, glutes and calves with each passing step; as well as toning your abs, and core muscles. Climbing stairs is not only a great Cardiovascular movement that’ll boost your stamina, but it’s also wonderful at burning fat and toning the core too! Opting for the stairs has never been so rewarding!
Boat Pose - Your stamina will be setting sail for new horizons once you’re through with this fantastic, simple-yet-effective endurance-boosting pose. Start by lying on your back, with your hands comfortably by your side, before lifting both your legs and shoulders up; so that your glutes are the only muscles left touching the ground. Resisting the urge to hold your knees up with your hands, keep this position for 30 seconds. You should literally be able to feel your spine and hip flexors strengthening; whilst stretching your abdominal muscles and hamstrings too. Repeat this movement 5 times over, and your stamina will thank you for it!
Resisted Lunges - The key to increasing your stamina lies with regular Cardiovascular-focussed exercises, and one of the simplest forms of this comes in the art of lunges. But we’re no spring chicken here at SMUG Active, which is why we want to take this movement one step further for our readers. For this, you’ll need a resistance band to hand, which you should place comfortably between your thighs. Next, with a foot of your choice, you’ll need to lunge forward so that both your knees form a 90-degree angle, but without letting the knee behind you touch the floor, or the one in front of you pass your ankle below it. Keeping your spine straight and your hips strong, count to 10, before repeating the movement 5 times on each leg. Your resistance band will offer ample resistance to each movement, which in turn will force your hamstrings and quads to work that little bit harder, whilst pushing your endurance levels that little bit further in the process.
Body Saw - Although this movement will drastically improve your endurance levels, it’ll also work wonders for challenging your core, and developing your serratus anterior muscles too. You’ll want to start off in a traditional plank position with your upper body resting on your elbows, but with Core Sliders placed under each of your feet. You may also want to place a mat under your upper body to increase traction and improve comfort during this movement. Keeping your hips and shoulders level, push you body back from your elbows, so that you’re moving in a horizontal motion, with your feet easily sliding back and forth on the sliders. Slide to as far back as your able, really engaging your core muscles in the movement, before sliding back up into the original plank position; bringing your shoulders back directly above your elbows. Repeat this movement 10 times during your first attempt, whilst increasing the amount of reps thereafter.
Eat Right - All of these exercise tips will be useless towards boosting endurance if they’re not backed by a balanced, healthy diet. Food is the fuel of the body, so it’ll come as little surprise to learn that your diet and your stamina levels are very closely interlinked. The aim is to keep your body steadily supplied with energy during a workout, and there’s many different ways to achieve this feat. Firstly, eating several smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three larger meals, will offer a sure fire solution to keeping your energy levels stocked up. You’ll also want to include a variety of vegetables and lean meats on your plate, as well as high-energy slow-burning ingredients such as dried fruits and nuts. Having a mixture of these to hand, in snack form for example, will also allow you to top-up your energy levels when they’re most in need; like right before a workout for example.
Endurance and stamina form the main components of pretty much every fitness success story, and we hope that in hindsight, you’ll be shocked by just how far you’ve come on your journey. However, if you’re struggling with more long-winded exercises, these 5 simple tips offer the perfect place to start. And it isn’t a journey that you need to walk alone, as there are plenty of equipment options that will help you on your way. We mentioned a few of our go-to’s throughout these tips, including the likes of Core Sliders and Resistance Bands, and since we couldn’t workout without them, we’ve chosen to make them a permanent feature in our online shop!
For all your endurance-boosting needs, visit our online shop here.