The word stamina usually refers to the physical or mental capacity of an individual to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or an activity. It also means that a person with low physical or mental stamina may get easily exhausted or experience a lack of focus on the task at hand and get easily distracted. Stamina is often interchangeably used with endurance, but though being related concepts they do have their own distinct meanings.
While stamina is the amount of time, a group of muscles or neurons can perform a particular task with maximum capacity, endurance is the maximum amount of time a group of muscles or neurons can perform a specific task.
Benefits of increasing stamina
Now that we have made an effort to appreciate the importance of a good stamina, it is also necessary to initiate a conversation regarding the ways to increase stamina. Underlying medical causes like thyroid, blood sugar or cholesterol, poor nutrition and physical and/or mental stress are some of the major reasons for poor stamina and mentioned below is a list of benefits of increasing stamina:
Clarity of thought- An increased body stamina, benefits mental health, keeps you calm, spreads positivity and improves your overall clarity of thought.
Good sleep- As a good stamina helps you perform activities for a longer duration, it makes sure you are fully utilised throughout the day and sufficient calories are burnt. This automatically helps you sleep better and take good rest.
Better peace of mind- A good stamina also improves your psychological and mental health. It helps relieve stress , keeps you at ease and provides a better peace of mind
Better self image- Stamina being linked to a better social health, boosts your inner confidence and provides you with a better self image.
Overall body health- An increased body stamina helps you train more, perform more profusely and eventually helps you build good health.
Boost in confidence- Stamina not only helps your physical health but also benefits your mental, social and psychological health. A good stamina keeps you energetic, enthusiastic and always on the lookout for new opportunities. This immensely benefits your self confidence.
More energy- A good stamina helps you perform several activities constantly without getting tired. This always keeps you on your toes and provides sufficient energy to last throughout the day.
Tips to increase stamina
After a brief understanding of ‘ What is stamina?’ and ‘ Benefits of increasing stamina’, the next big question that we need to tackle is ‘ How to increase stamina?’ A low stamina can usually be increased by stamina building exercises, stamina boosting supplements and some general home remedies to build a good stamina.
HOME REMEDIES TO BUILD A GOOD STAMINA:
According to a study published in a renowned journal, listening to good music improves your cardiac efficiency by lowering your heart rate. This enables you to perform the task at hand for a much longer duration with maximum efficiency.
As published in a 2017 study, caffeine has the ability to improve your stamina and helps you boost the energy needed to complete rigorous tasks. The best way to increase stamina and be able to sweat it out for long hours at the gym, is by drinking a few caffeine shots before hitting the gym. However, care should also be taken to prevent an individual’s body from developing caffeine tolerance, consuming caffeine sources with large amounts of sugar and other artificial flavors and preservatives, as this may lead to addiction, diabetes and other health issues.
Hydration is linked to muscle nourishment, which clearly indicates that adequate hydration can help muscles perform better and for longer durations.
A good uninterrupted sleep is very essential for building good stamina. Your body is a complex machine that also needs its own sweet time of rest, after which it can perform optimally. Measures like no TV/WiFi before an hour to bed or having meals at least three hours prior to bed are some of the important tips that necessarily tell you how to increase stamina.
STAMINA BUILDING EXERCISES
Yoga and meditation
As we have already established that any form of underlying mental or psychological trauma is one of the major reasons for poor stamina, performing yoga and meditation on a daily basis helps relieve such stresses and eventually build good stamina.
Basically any exercise that challenges your breathing capacities and helps you sweat it out is considered to be the best workout to increase stamina. Swimming in the pool for about 20 minutes daily will help your lungs to deliver more oxygen throughout your body, provide a good breathing exercise and improve your overall efficiency to perform any given task.
What better to beat the blues, than taking your cycle out for a spin! According to a study, if you want to know how to increase stamina with a good cardio workout, cycling is your answer! Cycling is known to be one of the best cross training exercises that not only provides you with a ton of aerobic benefits but also helps you build strength and improve your stamina.
Daily dedication of just 15 minutes to the High Intensity Interval Training Workout, is considered to be the best way to increase stamina. Some exercises that can be included in the HIIT workout regimen are mentioned below:
Burpee interval workout- Completing the following circuit four times and taking rests in between for about a minute after the burpees in each round.
Pullups (Maximum possible in 30 seconds)
Jumping Jacks (Reps 60)
Burpees (Reps 20)
Resistance band finisher- Completing the following circuit four times with a resistance band and resting in between for a minute after the curls in each round.
Jump rope (1 min)
Dips (Reps 10-15)
High knees (30 each knee)
Curls with resistance band (20-25 reps)
Abs interval workout- Completing the following circuit four times and taking rests in between for a minute after the half burpees in each round.
Crunches (Reps 50)
Bicycle crunches ( 1 minute)
Situps (Reps 15-20)
Hanging knee raises (Reps 15)
Oblique crunches (Reps 20 each side)
Half burpees ( 15-20 seconds)
Battle rope interval workout- The end of each rope will come off as an immovable object once you put it around an immovable post, stable or a pillar. Grabbing the ends of this rope and tensing it on both sides with a double arm motion and an alternating arm motion also forms a good HIIT workout for building stamina.
Sprint interval workout- Sprinting 67 meters in about 10 seconds, resting in between for about 30-50 seconds and later repeating this workout for 10-20 times, is an example of an average sprint interval workout.
Strength training or muscle building exercises like fast paced high intensity lifting also form one of the key stamina building exercises. By incorporating lesser break times in between sets and literally resting only when required, such that each set leaves you heavily breathing and sweating, burning your muscles only then you can say that this lifting workout will benefit you in the long run and improve your stamina.
HOW TO INCREASE STAMINA BY EATING THE RIGHT FOOD?
Foods to be consumed
Eating bananas is the best way to attain instant energy. Bananas are loaded with carbs, fats, potassium and fibers. Consuming bananas right before an intense workout session helps to perform the exercises for a longer duration without getting tired.
As it is already known to many, eggs are an excellent source of protein and are consumed especially by those who want to bulk up on their muscle. Eggs also contain a significant amount of carbohydrates and thereby provide an instant pack of energy when eaten.
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, fats and protein. Fishes like tuna and salmon also contain essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA which help build excellent stamina. Fishes are also a good source of carbohydrates that slow down the process of burning calories and thereby provide high amounts of energy to suffice throughout the day.
Complex carbohydrates are a key to good stamina. Therefore, if you have a habit of consuming white rice it is best advisable to shift to the brown variant of rice. Brown rice contains essential minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iron along with loads of fiber and carbs. Thus it takes longer for your body to break down brown rice and provides you with ample energy to last throughout the day to perform various tasks.
Foods to avoid:
The one important thing that you need to avoid if you are looking to achieve good stamina levels is alcohol. Alcohol is known to soothe your nervous system, tame down your reflexes and muscle neuron coordination. You generally tend to experience dehydration post a drinking session. Thus, in order to maintain a good stamina one must take extra precautions and avoid consumption of alcohol.
If there is something that you know is not good for your health, yet you cannot possibly stay away from it, is fried food! You know it's not healthy, yet it is so tasty that it always manages to draw you towards itself. Fried food is loaded with all sorts of fats, takes time to digest in your body and eventually lowers your stamina.
Dairy products like milk contain complex sugars like lactose that take a longer time to digest and in some cases may also cause indigestion. Although milk is a source of protein and overall energy it is always advised to not consume milk before hitting the gym.
Once you understand the essence of building a good stamina and how it helps your overall health in the log run, you can follow the above mentioned tips and incorporate the various workout routines in your daily life. With dedication, sincerity and commitment towards this new routine one can easily increase stamina in just one week.