Stamina describes a person's ability to sustain physical and mental activity. People with low mental stamina may find it difficult to focus on tasks for long periods and become distracted easily. People with low physical stamina may tire when walking up a flight of stairs, for example.
Having low stamina often causes a person to feel tired after little exertion, and they may experience an overall lack of energy or focus. By increasing their stamina, a person can feel more energetic and complete daily tasks more easily.
There are ways to increase stamina naturally, and the following are some of the best ways to do so over time.
Caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it can increase a person's heart rate and give them temporary energy boosts. Caffeine is present in many coffees, teas, and soft drinks.
In a small study, a group of nine top male swimmers took 3 milligrams (mg) of caffeine 1 hour before performing freestyle sprints. They consistently made better times than when they had taken a placebo, and the researchers observed no differences in heart rate. The implication is that caffeine can give people a boost when they are feeling fatigued.
For maximum effect, a person should limit their caffeine consumption. The body can become tolerant of caffeine, requiring an increasing amount to achieve the same effect.
Also, it is better to avoid drinks with lots of added sugars or fats, such as soft drinks and premade coffee drinks.
For example, results of a small study involving 27 medical students indicated that participating in some form of meditation or yoga could decrease stress levels and improve general well-being.
Anyone looking to increase their mental stamina may benefit from practicing yoga or meditation regularly.
Exercise can help a person improve their physical and mental stamina. People who exercise often feel more energized during both mental and physical tasks.
One study showed that following a workout program led to lower levels of work-related fatigue. The results also indicated that the program helped decrease stress levels and improve the participants' sense of well-being.
Anyone looking to reduce mental and physical fatigue should try to exercise regularly. This could include taking a walk or getting more intense exercise before or after work.
Ashwagandha is a natural herb available as a supplement. Taking ashwagandha may have the following effects:
- increasing overall energy
- boosting cognitive function
- reducing stress
- improving general health
In a small study, 25 athletes took 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day for 12 weeks. They showed improved cardiovascular endurance, compared with an otherwise matched group who had taken a placebo.
There is evidence that music can alter a person's mood. It may also help improve cardiovascular efficiency.
In a small study, participants who listened to their preferred music during exercise had a lower heart rate than those that did not.
Confirming these findings will require more research. However, the implication is that if a person listens to music that they enjoy while exercising, their stamina may improve.
Athletes and others who are physically active may still want to boost their stamina.
There are several tips that a person could try:
- Maintain a good balance between bouts of intense exercise and recovery.
- Increase the intensity of a workout for short periods, for example by doing brief sprints while running, biking, or swimming.
- Reduce the amount of time between reps.
- Increase weight when lifting.
- Increase the duration and frequency of workouts.
- Practice visualization and mind-over-muscle techniques to help push through fatigue.
Stamina helps a person stay focused and feel energized to do mental and physical tasks throughout the day.
Increasing stamina usually gives people more energy and focus and helps them to feel better about themselves. People often benefit from a combination of stamina-boosting activities or supplements.
However, anyone with a health concern should speak to their healthcare provider before taking a supplement or beginning a new exercise program.