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Stamina

How to increase your stamina

Are you in awe of people who run marathons? Do you wish you could last even 10 minutes on a treadmill or exercise bike? If you use the following steps as a guide, your stamina will increase and you'll probably shed a few pounds in the process.

What exactly is stamina? Quite simply, stamina refers to endurance. It's the strength and energy required to do something, such as exercise, for an extended period of time.

Equipment to Help Increase Stamina

Cardiovascular exercises are the best method of increasing stamina. If you're just starting out, you might want to try a variety of exercise machines to test which ones you enjoy the most. After all, if you enjoy your workout, you're more likely to stick with it. Treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines and rowing machines are great home exercise equipment options. However, it could be as simple as joining a physical fitness program, picking up a skipping rope or putting on a pair of runners and heading outside.

The equipment itself isn't the only factor to consider – your exercise environment is also important. For example, do you prefer cycling on a stationary bike or do you find outdoor cycling more enjoyable? Does jogging on pavement hurt your knees? Do you find that treadmills provide a more comfortable run? While some people find gyms to be a motivating environment, other people enjoy taking their workouts outdoors.

Stamina Journal

Once you're comfortable with your equipment and your environment, it's time to start keeping a record of the details of your workouts. This will provide an idea of your current stamina levels and will track your progress. The particulars you note will vary, depending on the kind of exercise you're doing. For example, on a treadmill you should note the length of your run, how many kilometers you run and the incline you set the machine to. On an exercise bike, track length, distance and resistance. Most machines also monitor your heart rate, which is another important factor to note. Gym instructors and the Internet are two valuable resources that can provide you with information about your target heart rate.

More Intensity, More Stamina

If you're just beginning to work out, take it slow at first. But once you've got an idea of your current workout abilities, it's time to increase the intensity of your workouts to increase your stamina. Try to bike a further distance in a shorter amount of time, for example. Or, try to run longer on a steeper incline. Interval training is another great way to improve your stamina. In this workout, you alternate between high intensity, low intensity and recovery time.

Strengthening your muscles is also important. Equipment like the Band Flex provides varying resistance for many types of exercises. For example, in addition to abdominal crunches, these machines also allow you to do leg presses, shoulder presses and aerobic rowing. But Band Flex machines aren't the only answer. Free weights are also effective.

Recovery

All of this training will no doubt lead to some pain and aching. According to some experts, inversion tables are one way of solving this problem. When you lie on an inversion table, your feet are elevated higher than your head. The goal is to stretch out the vertebrae. These tables also help strengthen your back, which will increase your ability to exercise longer.

Of course, a workout plan is not complete without a proper diet. A balanced diet will give you more energy, which in turn will allow you to work out longer. Checking out the new USDA food pyramid (MyPyramid) is recommended by many health experts. Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water is also very important.

Increasing your stamina will help you work out longer and see better results. The key is to always challenge yourself to surpass your goals.

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