Do you find yourself huffing and puffing on a coffee run? Or getting out of breath when you’re rushing up the stairs to work? You can blame it on low stamina! Good news is, there are ways by which stamina can be increased to bring an overall positive change to your lifestyle – our in-house fitness expert from The Transformation, Rohan Mathew, tells you how.
The concept of stamina is related to the extreme adaptability of our body, says Rohan. “The human body works according to the principal of ‘use it or lose it’, so if you don't use a certain body function or skill for a long time, you'll end up losing it. For example, if you’re a piano artist and you stop playing for a long gap of about two years, it's likely that you won’t be as good when you start playing again. The same goes for your body – if you don't challenge it enough, it'll conserve itself,” he explains.
How can you increase your stamina? Start slow but be consistent. “It’s pretty simple; just start with anything that gets your heart rate up. You could start off with walking short distances – it's the simplest form of exercise – and when walking a particular distance starts to become too easy, scale it up by walking faster or on elevated ground. Gradually start jogging and begin increasing your speed. According to the American College of Sports Nutrition, you need about 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, which would roughly mean five thirty minute sessions – you could even break it up further,” he suggests.
Also, stamina takes time to build – so don’t be in a hurry, you’ll begin seeing changes slowly but surely. “One of the first improvements you’d see is in your cardiovascular fitness, which you could thens develop on with any aerobic exercise, from cycling, swimming, group exercise classes, martial arts, kick boxing to even something like circuit training, which combines both aerobic and anaerobic training – the more you mix it up, the better it works as an all round workout,” he says.
So ditch the elevators, and start taking the stairs – remember, one step at a time!