Stamina and endurance, which are essential for longer exercises, can be improved by enlarging the capacity of your lungs, building muscles around the heart, and strengthening key muscles. You will need to gradually increase your daily physical activity in order to accomplish these goals. Plan on at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Here are some key steps to improve your endurance and stamina:
- Calculate your target exercise heart rate –The recommended maximum rate is 220 minus your age. Aim for between 50 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate during exercise. A heart rate monitor can help you stay in the zone while exercising.
- Engage in a fitness activity that you enjoy – You could join a team sports, such as basketball or soccer, or pursue a solo sport such as swimming. If you are not yet accustomed to exercise, stick with light-exertion activities.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day – Aim for a half hour of physical activity per day. If you are just starting to exercise, you may break the 30 minutes into a few 10-minute intervals. Make sure that each session includes exercises that will elevate your heart and breathing rate.
- Mix up your routine – Do not perform the same exercises every day. Alternate your activities every two days or so. Trying to vary your regimen will keep your interest high and prevent muscle injuries.
- Check your heart rate after a month of daily exercise – After you have been working out for about 30 days, measure your rate during or after an exercise session. Compare the readings to when you first started. You should notice a significant difference in the speed of your heart.
- Increase the intensity and duration of your sessions – As your heart strengthens, you can take your workout up a notch. A better heart rate is a sign that your stamina and endurance are improving.
To prevent muscle strains, remember to stretch before starting your exercises, and cool down afterward with gentle stretching or walking.