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How do I Increase Stamina?

By Alex Terris
Updated May 17, 2024
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Stamina — when used in the context of fitness and health — refers to the body’s ability to provide strength and energy to the muscles over a period of time. Someone with a high stamina level will be able to perform an activity or exercise at peak levels for a longer period of time than someone with low stamina levels. For this reason exercises to increase stamina are essential for many sports. To increase stamina you should focus on exercises that increase the body’s heart rate for a prolonged period of time such as running and swimming. It’s also important to gradually increase your exercise levels to help avoid injury.

One of the most important considerations when trying to increase stamina is the frequency and intensity of exercise. This usually doesn’t require exercising at peak heart rate. Instead, you should focus on getting your heart rate to about 70 percent, as this is more sustainable over a longer time period. Exercising for at least 20 minutes is usually required in order to increase stamina.

It’s also important to consider which type of exercises are best for increasing a person's stamina. For example, using a stamina bike is a good way of increasing heart rate while at the same time building the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Over time, however, the body will become accustomed to a particular exercise, which is why variation is important. Slowly increasing the duration or resistance of an exercise can have the same effect.

As stamina is the body’s ability to function at high levels for a prolonged period of time it is no surprise that to increase it requires a concerted and disciplined effort. When planning a stamina routine you should schedule regular sessions in order to achieve the biggest gains. It’s often a good idea to use different exercises on consecutive days to allow a muscles time to recover.

Some of the exercises you can use include biking, cross training and even yoga. Any exercise which increases the heart rate over a period of time will help to improve stamina levels. A common mistake is to try and work at peak intensity which will decrease the duration of exercise. Although this will still help to improve overall fitness it will not be as effective at increasing stamina levels. If you can find an exercise which you enjoy then this will make the process easier as motivation is the key to long term gains.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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