Strength isn’t the only thing you need when it comes to physical fitness. Building your stamina and endurance are just as important. Endurance allows you to engage in physical activities for an extended amount of time, while stamina refers to your heart and lung’s’ capacity to supply blood and oxygen during high-intensity activities.

Stamina and endurance may be increased through physical activity. In order to achieve this, you need to increase your lung capacity, strengthen the muscles of your heart and build up the muscles used in endurance activities. Below are steps to help you build up your endurance and stamina.

Step #1: Determine your target exercise heart rate.
Before you calculate your target exercise heart rate, determine first your resting heart rate. This is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at rest. A normal adult resting heart rate falls between 60 to 100 beats per minute.

Next, determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For instance, the maximum heart rate for a 30-year old is 190. For activities that are in moderate intensity, it should be about 50-69%, while it should be about 70% to less than 90% during hard physical activities.

If your heart rate is too high, it means you’re straining. So you should slow down. If it’s too low and you feel that the intensity is light or moderate, you might want to push yourself harder.

To get the most out of any exercise, you need to make sure you’re within your target exercise heart rate. Aim for the lower range (50%) of your target exercise heart rate during the first few weeks of your workout routine and gradually build up to the higher range (85%). After six months or more you’d be able to comfortably reach up to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

Step #2: Exercise for at least half an hour each day.
You don’t have to engage in a 30-minute physical activity if you’re a beginner. It’s all right to start slowly. You can start with 10 minutes each day in the first week, and then gradually add another 10 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes. Make sure that each session contains sustained physical activity that increases your heart and breathing rate.

Step #3: Play a sport or engage in physical activities that you enjoy.
Playing sports is one of the most effective and fun ways to build your stamina and endurance. Whether it’s a team sport like soccer, a head-to-head sport like badminton or a solo pursuit such as cycling or swimming, your endurance will certainly build up over time as you regularly engage in these activities. Try doing light exertion activities if you’re not used to exercise. You can build up to more strenuous exercises as you improve your endurance.

Step #4: Mix up your workout routine.
Don’t feel like you have to do a high-intensity workout every day to build your stamina and endurance. A wide range of exercise is actually better because it works more muscles in your body. For instance, you can alternate three chosen activities every two days and then try swimming or gym sessions in the days between.

Step #5: Monitor changes in your heart rate.
Check your heart rate after a month of daily exercise. Take both your resting and exercise heart rate by taking a reading before, during and just after a session. Note any improvements. Your resting heart rate should get lower as you get more fit.

Step #6: Shift to a high-intensity workout.
Increase the duration and intensity of your workout once you’ve noted improvements in your heart rate. An improved exercise heart rate signifies an increase in your endurance and stamina. For instance, try shifting from a low intensity workout like walking to a high-intensity workout, such as running or attending aerobic classes. This will keep your stamina and endurance building up over time.

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