When it comes to exercise, a lot of importance is placed on performance. When was the last time you thought about improving your endurance? Endurance refers to your body's capability to sustain an activity for a long period. So of course, improving your endurance will help you hit your health and fitness goals! In this article we'll discuss some practical tips to improve your endurance.
Muscular endurance vs cardiovascular endurance
There are two types of endurance - muscular and cardiovascular. If you haven't already guessed, muscular endurance is the ability to work your muscles continuously without getting tired. Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of your heart and lungs to supply your body with oxygen. These two work hand in hand to fuel your overall performance.
Muscular endurance is also known as anaerobic endurance, and cardiovascular as aerobic endurance.
How to Improve Endurance: Getting Started
You may find when you start off on your fitness journey that you will have a long way to go with your anaerobic and aerobic endurance. And even once you have been at it for some time you will always hit a new plateau. Here are some tips to help your push your endurance to the next level.
1. Endurance starts with small steps
If your goal is to run 5km, start with small but measurable improvements. So, you can only run 100 metres? Excellent! Tomorrow, try to run 110 metres! Before you know it you will have your first kilometre under your belt! The same goes for your anaerobic endurance. Take a measurement from where are you now, and aim for small, incremental improvements. Remember: Rome wasn't built in a day!
2. Try High Intensity Intervals
High Intensity Interval training or HIIT has been shown to improve endurance by increasing the maximum oxygen intake. In simple terms, by pushing your body to it's maximum limits in short intervals, you are pushing your fitness more than if you put in a lower amount of effort for a longer time. Try it!
3. Stick to it
The hardest part of any training program is sticking to it! If you want to improve your endurance, make a realistic plan that you can stick to. If you find yourself time poor, Don't plan an hour in the gym every night. Find something that will fit into your routine.
Why isn't my endurance improving?
If you are working out regularly and your endurance is not improving, you might have hit a dreaded plateau! The best way to get past this is to shake up your routine a bit. If you are a long distance runner, try doing sprints or high intensity intervals. If you are aiming for muscular endurance, try plyometrics.
Supplements to Improve Endurance
Improving endurance with the right supplementation can make a world of difference, whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete.
The most popular ingredient on the market that helps buffer lactic acid thus improving muscular endurance is Beta Alanine. Beta Alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine.
Many people report being able to perform one or two additional reps in the gym when training in sets of 8-15 repetitions. Beta Alanine supplementation can also improve moderate to high intensity cardiovascular exercise performance, like rowing or sprinting.
How Does Beta Alanine Work to Improve Endurance?
When Beta Alanine is ingested, it turns into the molecule carnosine, which acts as an acid buffer in the body. Carnosine is stored in cells and released in response to drops in pH. Increased stores of carnosine can offer protection from exercise-induced lactic acid production.
By boosting carnosine concentrations, with beta-alanine, our type 2 muscle fibers can soak up more H+ and stay in an optimal pH range. By keeping our type 2 muscle fibers in an optimal pH range, they are better able to maintain maximal strength and endurance throughout your workout session and bring on new muscle gains.
When do I take Beta Alanine to Improve Endurance?
Beta Alanine supplementation is not timing-dependent, in relation to exercise. Using beta Alanine as part of a pre-workout stack is a popular option, however.
Large doses of beta Alanine may result in a tingling feeling called paraesthesia. It is a harmless side effect, but can be avoided by using a time-release formulation or taking smaller doses, between 800-1000mg, several times a day.
Emrald Labs carries a 166 serve Beta Alanine supplement in powder form that can be added to your pre workout. Beta Alanine in this powder form is quick absorbing and mixes easily with water.
Adding Beta Alanine to your daily dietary intake will give you that edge that you have been looking for. Allowing you to go harder and improve longevity during all forms of exercise.
Reference and Research Citations