You need stamina or endurance to take up any physical activity and complete it. Stamina is nothing but the physical strength and ability to do a task that requires physical exertion. For this, you will need strong muscles that can withstand extended periods of exertion. Here are a few ways by which you can naturally increase your stamina and engage in physical activity for longer periods.
What Is Stamina?
Stamina is the strength that allows you to endure long periods of vigorous physical activity or mental effort. Increased stamina can help you endure stress and discomfort during strenuous activity. It can also help reduce fatigue and exhaustion that often follow a vigorous activity. If you have high stamina, you can also perform day-to-day activities at a higher level while using less energy.
Natural Ways To Increase Your Stamina
1. Follow A Healthy Diet
If you are into high-intensity workouts or activity, your diet can supplement the energy required to complete the activity. Along with proteins and fats, you must increase the intake of carbohydrates if you perform high-intensity activities. These carbohydrates can provide energy quickly as they can be easily metabolized to release energy (1). This, in turn, increases your stamina and helps enhance endurance.
You can consume bananas and apples, foods rich in fiber, such as berries, cereal grains, etc., brown rice, and other starchy foods, such as sweet potatoes, to supplement your body with carbohydrates and increase your stamina (2), (3), (4). These foods can provide sustained periods of stamina as they can impact the metabolism of carbohydrates. Try to include these 25 best foods to increase stamina.
However, one must avoid the intake of dairy products, processed foods, such as pasta, alcohol, fried foods, and low-calorie foods and beverages as they can lower energy levels. Consuming the incorrect amount of calories in every meal or changing the portion size of every meal can affect the level of energy as well as satiety (5). This can lead to either an increase or a decrease in the intake of food.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercising is another way to build your stamina. Whether it is a typical run on the treadmill, swimming, cycling, or aerobics, exercise promotes cardiovascular fitness (6). This, in turn, can help increase stamina, endurance, strength, and flexibility (7).
3. Practice Meditation And Yoga
Meditation and yoga are natural ways to relax and reduce stress. Several poses in Iyengar Yoga emphasize on standing poses that can eventually help enhance stamina, alignment of body, and strength (8). This also builds your physical endurance in the long run.
4. Listen To Music
Listening to music during an intense workout session, as research shows, decreases dyspnea or shortness of breath (9). This may help increase your tolerance and stamina while engaging in high-intensity exercises.
5. Have Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an herbal supplement that has been associated with improved cardiovascular endurance and stamina. Research shows that it can enhance longevity and immunity (10).
You can take a supplement of this herb in tablet or powder form. Make sure you consult your doctor for the right dosage as excessive consumption of ashwagandha can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
6. Consume Caffeine
Caffeine consumption can boost energy as it leads to an increased release of dopamine and noradrenaline (11). This can make you feel more alert and energetic and increase your ability to undergo physical exertion.
Note: Excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks can increase your blood pressure, heart rate, and the urge to urinate and induce insomnia and anxiety.
7. Quit Smoking
Research shows that smoking has a deleterious effect on endurance capacity (12). It can impact your stamina and energy levels and help you feel less short of breath while performing intense physical activity.
How Long Does It Take To Increase Your Stamina?
There is no shortcut to building your stamina. A closely monitored study showed that it took close to 14 days for the subjects of the study to build strength and stamina (or cardiopulmonary reserve) (13). However, the exact duration can differ from person to person as it depends on factors, such as the health of the individual and the motivation to increase strength and endurance.