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5 Tips to Improve Your Stamina

Any type of exercise requires you to have stamina in order to carry through, and not feel like you're going to explode from a lack of oxygen, or exhaustion. While stamina can be improved by going through the motions and grinding hard, there are some ways to really ramp up the effectiveness of your endurance training. These tips aren't just for beginners, but for anyone looking to boost their stamina, be it for a marathon, a race, or just personal goals.

Aside from eating the right diet and drinking enough water, here are our five key tips.

Photo credit: greatist

SWITCH UP YOUR WORKOUTS

Establishing a routine is good, because it makes exercise a force of habit. Beyond that, however, it is a double-edged sword. Past a certain point, your body reaches a plateau, and you hit a wall in terms of your overall fitness, especially your endurance. To avoid this, try switching up your workouts every two weeks. We're not talking just different variations of a bicep curl, or running an extra kilometre. Try new things, and explore other fitness avenues. If you're a cardio junkie, perhaps try spinning, or mixed martial arts. If you do weights predominantly, try swimming, or hitting the treadmill. It does wonders.

HIGH INTENSITY IS GOOD FOR YOU

One reason why HIIT can be so effective is because it shocks the body (in a good way). The variations of tempo causes your heart and muscles to work hard to keep up, and this helps you move faster in the long run. You can try incorporating HIIT moves into your workouts, or create a circuit to train with. Jump tucks, burpees and box jumps are some classic moves you can include to give yourself that explosive kick in your muscles.

Photo credit: nutritionlist

TRY LIFTING LIGHT, BUT LIFTING HARD

Training your body to lift progressively heavier weights is great for improving your strength, but if you want to double up on the endurance factor, it's time to ditch the massive dumbbells. Instead, try lifting smaller weights, but doing it fast. It fires up your metabolism and keeps your strength up, while improving your endurance levels. This tip is especially useful if you're someone who relies a lot on extensive cardio during workouts. Introducing rapid-fire weightlifting with light weights is a great start to attaining some balance in your regimen.

DARE TO REST LESS

Do you really need that full minute of rest between each set? No, but you feel like you do. Don't over-indulge your body by letting it take too much of a break. Cutting your rest times by a quarter, or even half can work a ton of magic on your stamina levels, because it expands your body's ability to tolerate rigorous training. When you've mastered the cutting of break time, go for back to back sets before giving yourself some rest. If you aren't sweating or panting, you aren't stopping. Of course, you know your body best, so do attempt this with a safety first approach.

Photo credit: bikeradar

COMBINE CARDIO AND STRENGTH TRAINING

A lot of split routines for strength training demand that you reserve one day for cardio alone, while the rest target specific body parts. If you're focused on cardio, you'll tend to train the same way, except it's the inverse. You've got to broaden your scope and be unafraid to mix up both within the same day, or increase the amount of cardio/strength work you do. Combining these exercise mediums, if only for a couple days a week, will challenge your respiratory and cardiovascular system more than a regular day at the gym, which is crucial to improving your stamina.

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