From team sports to martial arts, almost every form of exercise requires some level of physical endurance and stamina. Learning techniques in games like tennis and football for example, certainly holds a lot of value, but is eventually moot if one does not have the fundamental stamina to last an entire session of said sports. Here are some tips to get marathon levels of stamina and endurance and why it’s so important.
Why Are Stamina and Endurance So Important?
A comparison can be drawn to music to explain the necessity of both stamina and endurance. If one does not know how to read music or know what notes are, it is certainly not possible to even move to more advanced lessons. Stamina and endurance are the same: without both, you won’t be meeting the basic standard in the activity you are practicing.
Running out of breath after the first dance routine in an hour long class or being burnt out on the third round of an 11 point game in badminton are examples of how the basic tasks your sport sets for you can’t even be met. Naturally, not everyone can attain the peak level of human performance in sports or fitness, but some level of performance is required in order to fully participate in the fitness activity of your choice.
Thankfully neither are purely genetic and can be trained with enough motivation and discipline. The deed of getting better endurance stems from the openness to break barriers. Constantly setting goals with time and pacing of your regime and surpassing previous goals is the definition of training and is the essence of building both these attributes up.
The Partnership of Stamina & Endurance
When thinking about said goals, stamina and endurance have a large part about how you establish your goals in the first place. While stamina focuses on muscle groups and its ability to perform at the height of its capacity, endurance is defined by time and how long the specific muscle group can perform optimally.
Dr. Sullivan from Nova Chiropractic and Wellness Center gives the comparison between doing a push up versus running laps. Failing at the former is the result of poor stamina as the targeted muscle group is not capable of executing the task, while running out of breath after a certain number of laps is where endurance starts to dip.
While both have technical differences, stamina is linked to performing at an optimal level, while endurance is about performing a task as long as possible - both are equally important and go hand in hand with each other for any physical activity. On a more cardiovascular front, endurance will be tested, but muscular durability will be where your stamina will be relevant.
As it is muscle related, Strength Training is possibly one of the most direct ways to train your muscles to better endure any form of exercise. While it may appear to mirror the types of exercises done in bodybuilding, working on back, shoulders, legs, arms and core are all critical for a well-rounded improvement in stamina.
Exercises like barbell walks, lunges, shoulder raises and even deadlifts are good exercises to train specific muscle groups, but that doesn’t mean that you need to go heavy. Seeing as aesthetics are not the goal, light weights that allow you to only tire after 20 repetitions are ideal to train your muscles to be under tension for a set amount of time.
Alternatively, you can approach the weights HIITS style and time your weight-based activities to a minute and rotate between a variety of exercises. Dumbbell squats, kettlebell swings and even planks are all effective ways to either isolate or work on multiple muscle groups.
When first starting, there could be feelings of discomfort from the sheer amount of pressure your muscles are going through. The shock will wear off after consistent practice and enough patience. You will start seeing results when your legs or back stop aching as you continue with your sport. Running, throwing, jumping and more will be seamless as you progress further into your strength training.
Not everyone is a fan of cardio; thankfully running a marathon isn’t quite your goal either, which means starting with brisk walking, jogging and static cycling are viable options. The goal is to expand your cardiovascular system and condition your lungs in order to ensure that you don’t run out of breath after a certain amount of time.
Tempo runs are a great way to get started if jogging and brisk walking are too slow paced for you. Running certain short distances in bursts, and reducing the pace for double the time is a classic HIIT move that has proven to work wonderfully in countless fitness surveys. On a practical standpoint, it can be identical to playing team sports, where the tempo of sprinting and brisk jogging are often alternated.
Unfortunately, cycling and swimming are the only other options that yield the most effective training. Both will require some time and a basic understanding of technique in order to properly train the muscles.
However swimming is more for the whole body and is a popular pick for those looking to elevate their heart rate for a gradual amount of time without pouring out tons of sweat or worrying about travelling. There is no way to escape cardio if you want to continuously improve your endurance, but setting the time alone to try and better yourself far surpasses not trying at all.