How can I increase my stamina for workouts?


Stamina encompasses both cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. To increase your cardiovascular endurance increase your heart rate 3-5 times per week, 20-60 minutes per session, bringing your heart rate between 60 and 90% of your maximum heart rate. (220 – your age). To increase muscular endurance perform exercises using 3 sets of 12 – 20 repetitions with relatively little rest in between sets.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Keep working out. If you are as out of shape as most of us are, any activity, especially cardio, will increase your stamina.  Once you’re getting your steps on a regular basis, do a little more cardio exercise three times a week at a little more intense level to keep improving your fitness level.
Heidi Skolnik, MS
Sports Medicine

To increase stamina, begin doing your activity of choice for a duration that is comfortable and then add 10% per week.  If you walk 10 minutes 3-7 days a week, the next week walk 11 minutes and so on.  Your body will adapt and improve with gradual yet additive workloads.  After a few moths, when you are jogging 30 minutes you will look back and be amazed at how 10 minutes of walking was once taxing!!

You have to add sprintwork at the begining of your routine.  For my clients I use the 1 mile run.  I put them on the treadmill and have them run at "their" best for 1 mile.  Each time they see me.  Their time has to improve by 15 to 20 seconds.  On average they start off with a 13 to 15 minute mile.  Before you know it they are running an 8 minute mile.  Some go into the 6 minute range.  They will be extremely exausted but after their recovery break they are able to sustain longer and work harder in the actual work out because the lungs are expanded, allowing, more oxygen to flow, and the heart rate is up and the bodies are warm.  Think of it as a boxers second wind.  

Rule of thumb:

Get heart rate up

Tax or Expand the lungs

A great workout is on the way afterwards. 
As previously mentioned above, nutrition and proper sleep are very important for increasing your workout stamina.  In addition, I recommend strength endurance training as part of your workout regiment.

Make sure you have a mix of protein and carbohydrates 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to your workouts.  Protein shakes that include carbohydrates are good, as are protein bars with a balance of carbohydrates as well.  You need the carbohydrates for energy, and the protein to help sustain your energy level longer.

Strength endurance workouts consist of supersets, and circuits (aka veritical load).  An example of a superset is performing a bench press, immediately followed by dumbbell chest presses on a stability ball.  Do not take a break in between.  You will want to take a 60-90 second break after the set on the stability ball.  As your endurance improves, you could include a circuit such as bench press, stability ball dumbbell chest press, lat pulls, rows, etc.  Take a break after the last muscle group is worked.  Then start the circuit or vertical load over again.
   Getting plenty of sleep at night (at least 8-10 hours a night). Making healthy eating choices is another way to increase stamina. Avoid processed foods or fast food and soda (drinks with lots of sugar and empty calories). Try eating 2-4 servings of fruits, vegtables, grains, and lean meats such as turkey or chicken breast, ground beef and fish.  Take a good multi-vitamin. Try to stay positve throughout the day and avoid getting stressed out about things beyond your control(I know! easier said then done).
Try having a protein shake with a banana, ice and water an hour before or try an apple or celery with peanut butter or a handful of almonds 30 minutes before. There are some great drinks out there that you can drink during, but be sure and read the labels-some of them are loaded with sugar.

Continue Learning about Exercise For Increasing Cardiovascular Endurance

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.