Tired Of Being Tired? Stamina Explained.
Within the majority of sports that we encounter nowadays, the stamina levels of the participants can often distinguish the best players from the average. For example, you could be the best footballer in the world but how valuable would it be if you could only perform at this level for 30 of the 90 minutes needed? This theory can even be applied to everyday walks of life. Generally, the more stamina we have, the better we are at effectively doing our jobs for longer periods of time. But what exactly is stamina…?
Well, stamina can be defined as the resistance to fatigue, hardship and illness. The ability to sustain prolonged physical and mental effort. With this in mind, there is no surprise that improving our bodies’ level of stamina can have a number of significant benefits to our wellbeing and lifestyle.
Benefits of Improving
The first and arguably the most beneficial factor that comes with improving your stamina, is the positive effect it has on the overall health of your body. By increasing your stamina you effectively decrease the resting heart rate of your body. It learns to become more efficient and respiratory organs grow stronger. This leads to a lower blood pressure and decreased levels of stress. The health benefits don’t stop there either. Increased stamina can increase your body’s metabolism meaning that we are able to burn calories more quickly. This in turn reduces excess body fat. Maintaining high stamina levels can also help you improve mentally and this is because it prolongs the time it takes for you to feel fatigued. This allows your brain to be much more alert than it otherwise might have been.
It is benefits like these that can turn good sports players into great ones and make seemingly long days at work feel like easily manageable ones. So what can be done to improve my stamina I hear you ask…? Well the answer is simple, exercise!!
Take another sport into account, for instance golf. The more you practice how hit the ball, eventually, the better you will be able to control how you hit it. Exercise has the same effect on your body. The more you exercise, the more your body learns how to deal with the increased demand expected of it in relation to muscle and respiratory usage. This is why to improve your stamina you need to take your body out of its comfort zone. Ensure that you increase your heart rate through exercising often. Activities to do this include:
- Long slow distance running
- Weight training
- Cross training
If you are no stranger to the activities above, there are other ways to improve your stamina further. You could try applying more fast paced and dynamic activities to your training. Incorporating more explosive exercises to training enables you to challenge your body further because it allows you to test both your stamina and strength simultaneously. Plyometrics are a great example of this, the actions of jumping, squatting and hopping, expel huge amounts of energy and are therefore a great way to take your body out of its comfort zone.
If you are a regular in the gym or exercise frequently but aren’t experiencing the gains you have in the past, why not try mixing up your routines. As mention earlier, if we exercise regularly, our bodies find ways to do these activities more efficiently. However after a while it can become used to doing the same exercises so it is important to try different things to challenge our bodies in other ways to feel sustained improvements.
Finally it is essential to fuel our bodies in the right ways, with the nutrients it needs to operate efficiently. It is okay training your body to be able to cope with increased demand but if it’s not being fuelled properly it can also have a negative effect on our stamina levels. So get out there and challenge yourself, you will thank yourself for it later.