Whether you're running, biking, swimming, or doing some other form of aerobic activity, increasing endurance is a common goal. Here are five easy ways to increase your staying power.
1. Get active.
You can’t build endurance without first choosing the right activity or exercise to help do it. According to the National Institute on Aging: “Endurance activities, often referred to as aerobic, increase your breathing and heart rates, [improving] the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.”
Activities that build endurance include brisk walking, jogging, yard work, dancing, swimming, biking or hiking.
2. Change pace.
Interval training is another great way to improve stamina. Per the folks with the YWCA Minneapolis: “Fast! Slow. Fast! Slow. This is what should come to mind” when engaging in any activity or exercise. “The key to increasing your overall endurance is to push your body to its physical limits without overexertion, and utilizing enough rest to allow for recovery.”
3. Mix it up.
“Routine is endurance’s number-one enemy," said Ben Wegman, a trainer with the fitness site Fhitting Room. “[Change] your workouts and intervals to consistently challenge your body in new ways. Fitness endurance pushes you beyond your known limits.”
An easy way to get out of your comfort zone is to try something like yoga.
4. Eat right.
Having a well-balanced diet is always a good idea. But for endurance, learn into whole grain foods with carbohydrates. “Cards are our number-one source of energy for endurance,” explained sports nutritionist Marie A. Spano. “Complex carbs, in particular, are digested slowly and provide long-lasting energy.”
5. Sleep tight.
“We exercise for a purpose: for cardiovascular health, to increase lean muscle mass, to improve endurance and more. All of these ‘goals’ require sleep,” said Dr. W. Chris Winter, author of The Sleep Solution.
Sleep gives your body time to conserve energy as well as repair and build up the muscles. So aim for seven hours of good quality shuteye a night.