Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll talk about how to make endurance training work for you. Endurance training can make you happier, healthier, and more productive, even if you stop way short of running a marathon.
To build up stamina, you need to develop several core qualities including patience, commitment, consideration, and control. For these qualities to be developed, you need to overcome several hurdles, including impatience, distraction, fears, impulsivity, and lack of physical strength.
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a huge lifestyle change, or a painful one. In fact, studies show that even small amounts of exercise can make a difference. Even a few minutes a day can make a big difference, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, in your neighborhood, your local gym, etc.
At the gym, you might see activities like cycling, elliptical training, and running, among others. But what exactly does one do to develop endurance? One of the biggest mistakes people make when they try to improve endurance is to begin with the wrong type of training. Think about it: how do you swim? You don’t just jump in the water and start swimming; you gradually increase your speed over time by working on your stroke. The same thing applies to endurance training.
Try these tips for building up your stamina safely and effectively.
Benefits of Endurance Training
1. Boost your energy.
If you feel too tired to exercise, remember this. Working out will reduce fatigue, especially when you’re doing activities that enhance your aerobic capacity.
2. Speed up your metabolism.
Endurance training increases your metabolic rate even when you’re at rest. That means you can eat more calories without gaining weight, as long you don’t go overboard.
3. Make new friends.
You’re bound to meet someone interesting when you become a regular at your community pool or running track. Greet your neighbors and strike up a conversation. You may connect with a potential training partner.
4. Cultivate peace of mind.
There’s a scientific basis for the runner’s high. Due to endorphins and other chemicals, long-distance rhythmic movements tend to produce euphoria.
Nutrition Tips for Endurance Training
1. Read labels.
Sports nutrition is big business, so you have a lot of energy products to choose from. Check the ingredients and avoid bars and drinks that are loaded with sugar.
2. Count calories.
Endurance exercise can consume more than 600 calories an hour, but you don’t have to eat that much. Your body can’t absorb food that quickly so it makes up the deficit by burning stored fat. You may want to consume some carbohydrates if your sessions last 2 hours, and add in protein if you train for 3 hours or more.
3. Fuel up.
Stop eating at least 3 hours before a race or other intense activities so your blood sugar can stabilize. Complex carbohydrates are ideal for pre-race eating. It’s okay to be a little hungry before competing.
4. Replenish your resources.
Once your race or workout has ended, it’s time to recover and replace the nutrients you’ve used up. Try to eat a balanced meal with protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
Safety Tips for Endurance Training
1. Stay hydrated.
Drinking water is essential before, during, and after exercise. One 20 ounce bottle an hour is a good rule of thumb during tough training.
2. Practice moderation.
Develop a workout plan with a gradual and balanced approach. Increase your time and distance slowly. Engage in a variety of activities, including strength training and stretching. Take days off to rest.
3. Turn down the heat.
More athletes experience heat stroke than heart attacks. Wear protective gear and find an indoor track if it’s too hot outside.
4. See your doctor.
Talk with your physician if you have any chronic aches or heart palpitations. Seek help immediately if you experience chest pain or suddenly feel short of breath.
Other Tips for Endurance Training
1. Consider supplements.
While it’s good to rely on whole foods for most of your diet, supplements may also help when you’re placing extra demands on your body. Some studies support the benefits of taking whey protein, certain vitamins, and even caffeine in moderate amounts.
2. Warm up and cool down.
Gentler movements before and after training may be especially important for endurance athletes. Cool downs can reduce the risk of losing consciousness caused by stopping abruptly.
3. Listen to your body.
Your individual condition and goals determine the regimen that will work best for you. Experiment until you find a winning formula that keeps you safe and fit.
For a longer, healthier, and more active life, try endurance training. Whether you’re gearing up for a Spartan run or just riding your bike on weekends, endurance exercises strengthen your body and mind.
Endurance training can be a powerful tool to help you achieve better health. It’s not only about the time you spend exercising, but also about the time you take to recover. By carefully planning your training, making sure you have ample recovery time, and combining it with the right diet, you can gain the health benefits of exercise without sacrificing your work-life balance.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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