In any athletic competition, some degree of stamina is required for an optimal performance. Take football, for example. Players run up and down the field throughout the whole game in addition to taking hits from others as they plow their way through the offensive and defensive lines. If a player cannot keep moving after one or two minutes of this intense action, then he or she is unfit for the sport, and will need to build up a better endurance base. There are a few exercises that will help you improve your stamina to help you in every sport.
Running is the most basic exercise that you can do to improve your stamina. Building up an endurance base by running will give you muscular endurance in your legs too. Running for long distances is great for your endurance, but doing short-distance workouts can be supplementary to your stamina as well. For example, if you do all-out sprints for 1000 meters and take a break in between, you will acclimate yourself to running quickly, even when you are already worn out to some degree. Doing these “speed workouts” will greatly improve how you can perform when tired.
When you lift weights, you are not only building strength and getting rid of fat, but you are also improving your endurance. As a result of your muscles getting stronger, they can withstand more and more repetitions, and you will be able to last longer while lifting dumbbells each time you have a go at it. However, when building endurance, you don’t want to lift your maximum, but instead you want to lift smaller weights, but do more repetitions with them. For example, instead of doing twenty repetitions of thirty-five pounds, do forty repetitions of twenty pounds. You want to concentrate more on making your muscles last longer than just making them stronger.
In addition to needing the energy to withstand a high-quality workout, your muscles need to be properly tuned to keep you standing, or supporting you. Your core muscles are what support you when you are running, rowing, and biking, so it is essential that you train these to become stronger so that they can continue to hold you up while commencing with your workout. I recommend sit-ups for strengthening your abdomen, push-ups for strengthening your shoulders, and regular routine back stretches to loosen your back muscles and get them adjusted to moving a bit. This also means that you will need to use good posture while you are running, biking, or rowing: stand or sit up straight to properly distribute your weight and efficiently use your muscles.
Do breathing exercises regularly to exercise your lungs. It is actually possible to expand your lung capacity just by taking deep breaths each night and holding them for long amounts of time. For example, try holding your breath for thirty seconds, then forty-five, then sixty, and then work your way back down to thirty. The key to withstanding prolonged athletic activity is to keep breathing, so your lungs need to be in good shape for this. Of course, running is also a good exercise for your lungs, but it doesn’t hurt to get a little extra breathing room in, now does it?
Finally, although this has a bit less to do with training and more to do with just your life in general, make sure you take care of your body by eating enough and sleeping enough. You should try to get about eight hours of sleep in a night to stay well rested and able to function the next day. If you don’t eat enough, you won’t have enough energy to draw on during your workouts, hence the feeling of weakness and tiredness, which is exactly the opposite of building good stamina. By following the above exercises, eating right, and sleeping enough, you will be able to improve your stamina; however, it will be difficult, but in the end, it makes everything else that you do a little less difficult.