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By: Troy L. Ford

Do you get winded climbing a steep sand dune or a flight of stairs? Want to run faster? Want to walk or run further? Just want to feel happier and more energetic? If so, you’ll want to build your endurance. Endurance or stamina is the strength and energy needed to exert oneself for an extended period of time. It gives you the ability to power through physical and mental activities at a higher level. You can build endurance, over time, through a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and a balanced diet. 

Whether you’re an exercise novice or you’ve been at it for years, building your stamina will help you reach your fitness goals without risking injury. Increasing your stamina or endurance will also help make those (ADLs) activities of daily living more enjoyable. Boosting your endurance can also boost your mood and leave you feeling more energetic.

Usually when folks think about increasing their endurance they tend to focus only on cardiovascular activities like walking, running or cycling — exercises that strengthen the heart— but that’s only a part of the equation. You also need to improve your muscle strength.  Keeping a positive attitude will help you build up your mental endurance, which can benefit all areas in your life. Use the simple strategies below to increase your endurance and start feeling stronger, healthier and happier today. 

Step 1: Choose an aerobic activity that you like. Cycling, walking, jogging, dancing and swimming will all work. Aerobic exercises use large muscle groups, get your heart pumping and can help to improve the strength of your heart.  Do your favorite activity from 5 to 60 minutes at a time, 3-5 days each week and increase the time or intensity of your session a bit each day. 

Remember, when you start a new exercise program it’s important to gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workout rather than push yourself too hard too fast. Listen to your body! When your body feels stronger, work harder. Work hard and get enough rest and recovery time. 


Step 2: Do some weight training each day. Increasing your muscular strength not only improves muscular endurance but improves your balance, blood pressure, bone density and flexibility, it can also boost your energy level and mood.

Step 3: Get 6-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep is crucial for peak performance. We need proper rest so that our bodies and brains get refueled. Get enough sleep so that you have the energy necessary to power you through your day and all of your activities. 

Besides making you feel better, sleep is when your body repairs and regenerates. It’s when your body builds bone and muscle so you’re ready for your next workout. Remember to stay hydrated too!

Patience combined with persistence is a great combination for success in any endeavor. Start building a better, stronger you with these healthy lifestyle tips and start feeling happier and healthier today.


Troy L. Ford began his one-on-one personalized fitness instruction career in 1994, and owns and operates TroyBuilt Fitness from his studio in Michigan City. With more than 20 years of experience as a trainer, author, motivational speaker and community leader, he has helped numerous clients of all ages and abilities enjoy the benefits of a more active and healthy lifestyle. Troy is certified by the nationally recognized ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine, and he holds a BA in Health and Wellness Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.


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