How to Improve Your Stamina Without Running a Single Step
Porn stars have it! Busy moms do, too. And without adequate stamina, no runner worth his insoles could finish a daunting race. Stamina is underrated. Find out why you should never take it for granted.
When John Wayne Creasy Jr. was asked by the faculty of his department which subject he intended to pursue his doctoral dissertation, he didn’t hesitate. His “An Analysis of the Components of Mental Toughness in Sport” evolved into a fascinating examination of a topic rarely investigated, but on point.
Stamina, it seems, is not just essential if athletes expect to compete on a level playing field, but without it, winning could be virtually impossible. This may be no revelation if you lack stamina and seek ways to boost yours. Our search for stamina-boosting solutions proved as fascinating as Creasy's study and you'll probably agree.
Are you clear on the meaning of the word stamina?
Check any dictionary or Thesaurus and you’ll encounter a long list of synonyms for stamina that includes fortitude, grit, perseverance, endurance, strength, resilience plus contemporary definitions that include staying power and doggedness. Stamina is no wimpy concept, no matter the context in which the term is used.
Stamina is essential outside the world of sports. Educators help children build reading stamina, say experts at the Children’s Literacy Initiative, nurses couldn’t do their jobs without it, according to professionals at AllNurses.com and for 87-year-old Sonnor Faught, his job as a ceremonial honour guard at cemeteries demands it. But put into perspective, athletes benefit the most, particularly those who can't get enough ultras.
Ways to boost your stamina that don’t require running
This isn’t the first time RunSociety has approached the topic of stamina with curiosity. We profiled new gear that hit the market in late spring 2016, recommending adding a GoMore Sensor to readers who wanted to boost their stamina.
We tested the new device designed to monitor her levels and found we were able to overcome stamina challenges thanks to the device’s audio orders to “go faster, go slower or stop to recharge my battery” commands. If you don’t mind getting orders from a device, follow our lead.
But you don’t have to buy anything to boost your stamina because non-running activity will do it for you and it won’t cost a cent. Further to that objective, we suggest the following ways to build stamina that you can start doing today.
Stamina boosting tips without running
- Stamina booster #1: Muscle up, runner, by adding hybrid moves to your fitness workout so you stimulate every muscle—including your heart muscle. Squats (especially in combination with overhead presses), lunges, bicep curls and jumping pull-ups work great alone. Combine two and you up the ante on stamina building.
- Stamina booster #2: Cut back on the amount of rest time you allow yourself in-between workout sets when stamina building is your goal. Learn to push like crazy so by the time your session ends, your muscles burn, you’re sweating like crazy and you can barely utter a sentence because your breathing is so labored. Sound like torture? Maybe; but you'll have to suck it up if you hope to increase your stamina!
- Stamina booster #3: We mentioned earlier that routinely is important, but it’s worth repeating here that routine can be both a blessing and a curse. You gotta change it up to enhance your prowess because fitness experts agree that after two weeks, a workout can get old and boring. Exchange cycling for stair running or make friends with an elliptical to change up muscles you use while keeping your mind sharp. Boredom can be as destructive to the mind as it is to the body if you don’t feed it a steady diet of change when it strikes.
- Stamina booster #4: Declare “strength days” to pamper your heart muscle and your bones in place of a cardio-only schedule. Instead of setting aside a day for cardio and one for strength-building, mix ‘em up and hustle. For example, follow sit-ups with a full minute of jump rope and then run a mile at top speed on the treadmill. Too daunting? Stop whining. You’ll get used to it once you notice an increase in your stamina.
- Stamina booster #5: Re-frame your thinking about compound movements over isolated movements because if you stick with the latter, you’re not going to stimulate muscles sufficiently to achieve the level of stamina you’re aiming for. When you use more than one joint at a time doing pull-ups or squats, for example, you can expect powerful endurance results as a result of your extra effort.
- Stamina booster #6: Speed up your weight lifting sessions. Go slow and you’ll build muscle; add rapid-pace lifting to your routine and your metabolism benefits, leading to increased stamina. Rapid-pace weight lifting moves are known to boost endurance. Find out for yourself how this works by girding your loins and giving it a try. Yes, it takes getting used to, but your stamina gain is worth the pain.
- Stamina booster #7: It’s the easiest, most sensible way of all to build your stamina without running, yet few people think to do it. Did you know that you can increase your stamina simply by walking right after you eat? Does your post-meal routine consist of strolling from the table to a favourite chair in front of the TV? Time to break that routine. Go for a walk and not only will your stamina increase but your food will digest properly as toxins move through the system faster. Your metabolism would send you a thank-you card if it could, too!
What part of your life requires the most amount of stamina? Is it your family? Your job? Or is every aspect of your life so demanding, just getting out of bed can be a challenge?