At one point or another in life, we’ve all been there – trying to improve our fitness and performance. We all had those days when we get out of breath taking the stairs to the first floor. And we remember all the months or maybe years of inactivity and laziness. We then try to make up for it by joining a gym and adamantly following a workout plan. However, after a while, we feel like something is not working as we expected. We either do too much in the beginning and give up too soon, or we don’t push ourselves enough and see no real results. To guide you on your way to a better performance, we want to give you some simple tips to help you get started and stay on track.
Thinking about performance, some of the first things that come to mind are: endurance and stamina. Both endurance and stamina are important components of our fitness and health. Although the two terms are related to each other and often used interchangeably, they stand for different things. To better understand what they mean, let’s take a closer look at the definitions…
The Difference Between Stamina and Endurance
Stamina is defined as “the bodily or mental capacity to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity”, according to Merriam-Webster. Simply put, stamina is what gives you the ability to lift heavier weights for more reps, run faster for longer distances, and generally perform physical activities with higher levels of energy. Having better stamina means that your performance is more efficient – both physically and mentally.
According to the same dictionary, endurance is defined as “the ability to withstand hardship or adversity” – without giving up. When talking about endurance in relation to performance, it is important to mention that there are two types – muscular and cardiovascular. Muscular endurance refers to the ability of your muscles to sustain repetitive movements under a given load – for example weightlifting. Cardiovascular endurance refers to the ability of your heart, lungs, and blood vessel to support rhythmic exercise such as running or cycling. Both types are important for our overall health and performance, and both represent a component of stamina.
Define Your Goals
Now that we have clarified the meanings of the two terms, let’s see what we can do about our own endurance and stamina. Today we are going to have a closer look at how we can build up our cardiovascular endurance.
Let’s say you want to start running. What would you do first? Jump right into it and go for a 10-km run? You could do that, but the problem with such an approach is that it would discourage you sooner rather than later. And as you may be guessing, you might give up before you even properly started.
Building your endurance gradually (think baby steps) is something that will keep you going and help you reach your goals. Taking it one day at a time and listening to your body will bring you faster to your goals than any other rushed workouts and runs you may have had in mind.
5 Simple Tips to Improve Your Cardiovascular Endurance
Improving your fitness can seem a daunting task, but we’ll smooth the way for you. Here are 5 easy and simple tips that you can implement in your daily routine or as part of your workouts to increase and improve your cardiovascular endurance:
Go for long walks
One of the simplest things to do and start with is to just go for a long walk. Walks are perfect for beginners, and a 30- to 60-minute walk is great way to build endurance and cardiovascular health. However, walks are not only for beginners, even those who already lead an active life can reap the benefits of long walks by, for example, increasing speed and intensity.
Add running intervals or go for a run
A walk sounds boring to you? Spice things up by adding, for instance, 30-second sprints every five minutes throughout your walk. This way, you can improve your endurance in a time-efficient manner. If you feel like not even that is enough – go for a run! Running is another great way of improving cardiovascular endurance and health.
Increase your running time and/or distance
Similar to the first tip, you can also increase the time and distance of your runs. This way, you will gradually build up your endurance. You can, for instance, add one more minute each run, and not only will you go at your own pace, it is also a fun way to challenge and push yourself each time. Tracking your distances and/or time with an app can also keep you motivated, and you won’t give up as easily – by seeing the numbers, you will have a visual component to your progress and improvement, which in turn can give you the boost you need to keep going further.
Ride a bike
Any form of cycling will help you on your journey to better cardiovascular endurance. You can choose between mountain biking, road biking, or indoor biking. If you choose to go mountain biking, you can increase your muscular endurance as the terrain, intensity, and variable resistance will challenge you!
As a total-body physical activity, swimming is a great way of getting a good workout in and improving your overall fitness and health. Swimming contributes to a healthy heart and lungs, tones your body, builds strength, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
As you can see, there are plenty of simple ways to improve your endurance, and many of them are easily incorporated in our daily lives.
Along with regular physical activity, taking care of your diet and nutrition can help you in your endeavor to improve your fitness and performance. Our FitLine Fitness Drink was created to contribute to the maintenance of performance capacity over longer time periods*.
Whichever tip you decide to proceed with, keep in mind that any movement is good movement – do what feels best for you. Once you start seeing how your overall performance improved by using some of the tips, you will be thrilled and motivated to keep going.