No matter how hard you push yourself, you know you can do even more to extend your physical limits, and here’s how.
Endurance is the ability to sustain prolonged stressful effort or activity. It comes in four different varieties—aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, speed endurance and strength endurance—all of which can be increased through proper work outs.
Of the four, aerobic endurance is perhaps the most fundamental, as it applies to all sorts of activities and sports events, from soccer and swimming to running, cycling and any other heart pounding form of exercise.
Among the benefits of developing greater aerobic endurance is that you can work out at higher intensity for longer intervals. One of the most popular methods of increasing endurance involves steadily increasing the intensity and length of time you exercise.
However, if you stick to the same workout program, you may have trouble building endurance as your body settles into a routine mode. Our caveman ancestors had no problem in this regard because they were physically active. They were constantly varying the length and intensity of their activities.
Today, there are a number of steps you can take to increase your endurance and achieve the maximum results. Just consider the following:
- Get Plenty of Rest – Athletes that go hard need muscles that are fresh. This means working out harder on your hard days and taking it easy on your easier days. You should not do hard days in a row without proper rest. This applies to all levels of performance, and it can help build your endurance.
- Eat Right – Carbohydrates are important in exercise and endurance. When your body is stressed, your body will burn glycogen for fuel. When your glycogen runs out, your body will look to other sources for energy, such as fatty acids. Research has shown that a mix of protein and carbs will enhance your endurance as well as reduce damage to your muscles. For extensive cardio workouts you should take in 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour, based upon your body weight.
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training requires short bursts of intense exercise, which can be extremely powerful. Endurance can be improved when traditional training is combined with HIIT. However, to get the most out of such training you will need to allow for adequate recovery after these intense workouts.
- Add Strength Training – A variation in training can increase your endurance. Resistance training will help to strengthen ligaments, bones, muscles and tendons. This can improve your overall fitness while increasing your endurance. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.
- Crank up the Tunes– If you love working out with your music pumped, you’ll be glad to know that now you have just reason to do so. Research indicates that listening to music actually boosts endurance. It can give you just the pick-me-up you need to push through.
Our caveman ancestors were very active, and many of these strategies were part of their day-to-day life. It’s no wonder they had amazing endurance, and now you can, too.
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