When we talk about physical resistance, we immediately think of the possibility of doing an exercise without getting tired.
This is because endurance is the physical and mental ability required to perform an activity for as long as possible. Learn here why it is important to develop it and what you can do to improve it.
Endurance can be differentiated into cardiovascular and muscular. The first is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to the body while exercising.
Instead, muscular endurance refers to the ability of muscles to work continuously without tiring for long, or short but intense, periods of time.
Working resistance is very beneficial for health, as it helps to:
- Increase mobility.
- Define the muscles.
- Strengthen connective tissues, tendons and ligaments.
- Increase strength.
- Improve bone density.
- Get a better posture.
- Burn calories.
- Reduce the risk of injury.
How to improve endurance
There are a wide variety of activities you can do to improve your endurance. Undoubtedly, the most used is a practice developed specifically for this purpose: Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT), that is, metabolic resistance training.
A typical MRT program includes 3 sets of 10 intense exercises. Each one is performed for 45 seconds, with 15-second rest intervals.
- The best exercises to stay fit
Exercises can be barbell squats, lunges, push-ups, deadlifts, back extensions, jumping hurdles, or going up and down steps or boxes.
Everything is done quickly and without rest, but taking care of the technique to avoid injuries, and preferably under the supervision of a coach.
Experts recommend an initial frequency of once or twice a week. As a better technique and physical condition is developed, more days of training can be added, always with the precaution of alternating a day of rest to avoid the risk of overtraining, injuries or muscular fatigue.
You can also opt for aerobic exercises, better known as “cardio”. This type of activity is characterized by its low intensity carried out over long periods of time, for example, walking, running, swimming, cycling or jumping rope.
To perform them, the body consumes fats and carbohydrates, making it a useful tool against being overweight or obese, while increasing resistance and lung capacity, helping to take care of cardiovascular health.
For any of the activities developed above, it is important to keep in mind a basic concept to build effective physical conditioning programs: the principle of overload.
This principle involves making gradual increases in volume or intensity to achieve improvements in fitness. For example, if you run, eventually you will have to increase the distance, time and speed with which you do it.
Other forms of exercise
There are low-intensity exercises or activities that can be done to alternate with metabolic resistance training days.
One of them is Tai chi, a defensive style of martial arts considered as a mind-body practice in complementary and alternative medicine.
It consists of making slow, smooth and conscious movements, complemented by stretching, while breathing deeply.
In this way, greater flexibility, balance, agility, aerobic capacity, resistance, muscular strength and energy are achieved.
Another option is yoga, an ancient discipline that originated in India and that through different exercises (learn about them here) seeks to connect body, breath and mind, increasing relaxation, strength, resistance and flexibility.
The need to see immediate results can lead you to overexert your body. This, far from being beneficial, will affect your progress, even injuries can occur that will keep you away from your exercise routine.
Remember, consistency and gradual increase in intensity is the best tool to increase resistance.
Another very important factor that is often overlooked is that the activity you choose to improve endurance should be something you like or enjoy. This will help make it easier to maintain and stick with your exercise routine.
Working with a professional trainer can be beneficial no matter your fitness level, as they can help you design a program that is right for your level and set realistic goals. A good trainer will also make sure you don’t progress too quickly to minimize the chance of injury.
Remember, before doing any of these activities you should warm up for 5 to 10 minutes, and once you’re done with the workout, you should stretch for another 5 to 10 minutes.
If you skip these steps, your muscles will tend to shrink over time, leading to injuries, aches, pains, or contractures.
It is also important that you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising, and wear comfortable clothing and proper footwear.
Sources consulted: US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.