Getting an improvement in your endurance is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and will help you keep a healthy shape or reach your fitness goals.
More endurance means more stamina, and increasing your stamina can help lower your resting heart rate, burn excess body fat, and help lower your blood pressure. Not only does this offer you numerous health benefits, but improving your endurance can make you a stronger player in team sports, or help you cover longer distances when running, cycling or swimming.
Many regular gym users can be thinking that it is exercises like running and cycling that help you build your endurance and stamina, but you actually need to increase your body’s core strength if you are going to get long-term gains in endurance.
There are lots of things you can do to improve your endurance at the gym, and here are our eight top tips to help you get the most from your fitness regime.
Complete Exercises that Use Lots of Muscles
Exercises such as step-ups, pull-ups, press-ups and squats all utilize multiple muscle groups, helping you to increase your endurance more than exercises that isolate muscles do.
Hybrid movements such as lunges will also help to stimulate groups of muscles, and this will help increase your body’s endurance and stamina. The more muscles you have working together, the more this challenges your cardiovascular system, improving your endurance.
Combine Cardio Sessions with Your Strength Work
Many regular gym users have one day of cardio sessions, and another for strength workouts. You can make big increases to your endurance and stamina by combining the two.
Increasing muscle mass from strength training will, in turn, increase your metabolism and with it, your stamina. If you become stronger, your body will feel lighter and give you more movement control. You should include lunges, squats and pull-ups in any warm-up or cool-down routine to work out extra muscle groups in your session.
Remember to Stretch
This should be obvious, but too many fitness fans are skimping on their stretching sessions after exercise.
By stretching regularly, you are helping your muscle’s fibres recover. This maximizes your muscle strength and flexibility, helping you boost agility, endurance, and overall performance. Always perform static stretches after working out, and you’ll reap numerous benefits, including improved flexibility and less soreness.
Make Sure You Keep Hydrated
If you are doing any kind of training, it is important to stay hydrated. The body loses a lot of fluid when exercising, sometimes as much as a litre an hour, so keeping fully hydrated makes a big difference to your endurance.
Water is fuel for your muscles, and you should make sure you drink it before, during and after and exercise session to keep your energy levels up and prevent cramp.
Let Food Be Your Medicine
Having a balanced and well-rounded diet is important to everyone’s body, whether in training or not. Eating the right foods at the right time can make a big difference to your endurance and stamina.
Complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre, protein and vitamin C all help to keep you feel energetic and active, helping you train for longer and boost your endurance. Some trainers fail to appreciate the importance of nutrition and hydration when building stamina and increasing endurance – don’t make the same mistake!
Consider What Supplements Could Do to Help
For some people, no matter how hard they work, what steps they take, or how carefully they monitor their nutrition and hydration, they still can’t get an increase in their endurance and stamina levels.
Some vitamin and dietary supplements and treatments have been known to help in this area, and a popular solution is Testosterone. This human hormone has long been associated with muscle mass, endurance, and fitness, and now you can even get it sent to your home. However, although you can buy testosterone online, it’s important to differentiate it from your typical over-the-counter fitness supplements.
You cannot buy testosterone without a prescription from a licensed physician. Testosterone replacement therapy is prescribed to men who have low testosterone levels (which is confirmed by laboratory testing) and only if there is a need for it. If you’re suspecting that your low endurance levels are a symptom of low testosterone, talk to your physician first and run tests to determine whether you’re suited for this kind of therapy.
Change Up to Make a Change in Your Endurance
In just a short amount of time, your body will start to become familiar with your typical training routine and stop reacting as positively to it.
Remember to switch up your training every couple of weeks to keep your body reactive. You need to constantly vary the ways you use muscle groups to develop them fully. If you base your training around running, change to cycling or swimming every two weeks to keep your routines varied.
Use Dynamic and Fast-Paced Activities When You Train
Using fast-paced and ‘explosive-type’ exercises in your routine is a great way to use a lot of energy and push your body’s stamina and endurance reserves.
Plyometrics, also known as ‘jump training’, is easy to integrate into just about any training session. This exercise stretches and contracts muscle groups throughout the body, and can make a massive difference to your stamina and endurance levels.
With just a few of these tips, you should be able to see a big difference in your endurance levels quickly and get even more out of your workouts at the gym.
Jessica Peters is a freelance writer from Melbourne who blogs about health and fitness. Jessica is an avid traveler and regularly crosses the globe to learn about other cultures while blogging from her laptop.