By Sara Buechler
Exercising on its own can be exhausting enough, but combine that with only being able to run three minutes on the treadmill and it feels downright depressing. Improving your stamina can definitely aid in having a more positive exercise experience.
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Part of being able to increase stamina is ensuring you are eating a healthy, well balanced diet that is low in fat and is comprised a third of healthy starches and carbohydrates (preferably whole wheat) that can offer you muscles lasting energy and protein sources.
It will be much easier to build stamina if you are doing physical exercise that you enjoy and love doing. It will seem less laborious and more fun, and the mental component of exercise can go a long way in helping you to continue your exercising and keep going. Love biking? You’d be surprised that a forty mile bike ride is nothing when you love it! Same goes for any form of physical activity.
One of the easiest ways to improve stamina during exercise is by controlling your breathing. During strength training, many apply valsalva, a maneuver that involve holding your breath during the reps and then exhaling after each completed rep. Before beginning a rep, you should take a deep breath from your diaphragm (versus your lungs), hold it while going through the rep and then release it when you complete a rep.
Shorten Rest Periods
Rest is a great thing in between sets, but if you are wanting to build stamina, cut down the amount of rest you take in between sets. Generally, individuals rest for 30 to 90 seconds in between a set, but to build stamina, you can lower that and the weight as well and increase how many reps you are doing per set.
Seems counterproductive, but it’s very important to take it easy every now and then. If you’re doing a three-hour gym session one day, maybe try some yoga or a light workout the next day to recover your muscles. Stamina is hard to improve if the muscles feel constantly overworked and have no time to recover from a hard workout.