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Going to the gym, and getting a good workout in (we can all agree), is good for your health, but as you burn away those unwanted calories or put energy into getting (or keeping) your body toned, how much time do you commit to focusing on your endurance fitness.
Endurance fitness is the part of exercising that builds up your stamina, and not only your strength, but your ability to utilize that strength for longer periods of time.
Now if you are a busy person, you may be thinking, “I already spend 30 minutes to an hour at the gym, I do not have time to add other routines,” but one of the amazing things about endurance fitness, is that you do not have to create an entirely new style of training, and a bunch of new exercises to give yourself “quality” endurance fitness workouts.
You can simply adjust 5 minutes of the workout that you are already doing, to get that quality endurance fitness workout in.
Now for those who are not currently going to the gym and/or working out, “don’t worry,” these endurance fitness exercise tips work just as well for you, as they would for an experienced gym-goer. So let’s go over some of the benefits of endurance fitness.
Benefits Of Endurance Fitness Exercises
There are many styles of exercises and workout routines that personal training experts agree will give your body the weekly doses of strength and cardio workouts it needs to get into shape, stay in shape, or maintain good overall health.
But there is a key component of exercising and fitness that these experts, also, agree, is even more important, and that is endurance fitness.
As mentioned in the introduction, endurance shows up in situations where you are required (or simply need) to utilize the strength and “in-shape” body that you have built up to perform tasks over a period of time that is longer than just a few minutes.
These tasks include running over distances, bike riding for long distances, swimming, fighting (such as boxing, MMA, karate, Kong Fu, etc.), basketball, football, baseball, tennis, softball, rugby, soccer, etc..
According to seasoned endurance training, national, coach, Kevin Leathers (after years of training people for endurance fitness for the St. Jude’s Heroes program), endurance training is needed to maintain consistent muscle strength over long periods of athletic performance, and takes a “great deal” of patience to build up, and maintain.
He says that you must take part in endurance training consistently over a period of time (3 – 6 months (sometimes longer)) for it to actively show up in situations where it is needed most (i.e. running over long distances, combat sports, self defense, competitive sports, etc.).
He says that once you begin training in endurance fitness, that you should not expect to see any results quickly, and then it takes a long time for your muscle memory to kick in, and for your body to adapt.
He also explains that as your fitness endurance becomes more comfortable as time goes on (depending on how intense of training you want to receive), that you can increase the difficulty of your exercises.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the benefits of endurance fitness, let’s go over some of the different types of endurance fitness training.
Running Workouts For Speed And Endurance
Running works every muscle in your body. Fitness experts have always prescribed it as a great way to get a quality cardio workout in. Still, it is also the number 1 rated way to get a “quality” endurance fitness workout in, according to Los Angeles fitness training expert David Siik. He explains that there is almost no other workout you can do that will build up your endurance as quickly as running does.
He says that for anyone who is looking to build up their endurance fitness, that running is a must. Before beginning each run, he points out that regardless of your body type, it is essential for you to to get in “high-quality” stretches.
What does he mean by “high-quality” stretches? He points out that although the importance of stretching before running (and other cardio workouts) has been stressed by many fitness experts, over the years, not many have pointed out the importance of doing “moving-stretches,” over the more standstill, and just extend your limbs, styles of stretching.
He believes that these moving stretches will loose your muscles up, and better prepare them for the endurance fitness training you are about to take part in.
What type of running should you do to improve endurance fitness?
Although many forms of running can improve your endurance fitness, according to many sports scientists, the most effective forms of running to building endurance, is running where you combine distance running “with” speed running.
They say that simply doing one, or the other, will not keep your muscles performing at maximum capability while performing in intense athletic situations.
These scientists explain that the speed running (sprinting) builds strength and power, into your endurance training, and distance running builds stamina, into your endurance training.
So having a routine that utilizes them both gives you the most effective means at building up your endurance fitness.
For those experienced gym-goers, or beginners, who are looking for a running routine to build up their endurance fitness, we’re going to help you out with that as well.
First, we are going to go over a running routine that’s tailored for those who have limited time but still want to build up their endurance fitness.
For all of those individuals who are low on time, a great way to get to get in a quality endurance fitness workout, and you can perform this exercise even without going outside (it can even be performed in the comfort of your own home), is “stationary, impact, jogging.”
What is stationary, impact, jogging, you ask, well stationary, impact, jogging, is running in place, but with high intensity (And this can be done with or without a treadmill)).
If you choose to go with a treadmill, for your stationery, impact, jogging, then you will just need to start off with a light jog on the treadmill for about 3 – 5 minutes, then increase it to a higher speed, where you are not sprinting, but jogging at a more moderate rate, and you would leave it on this interval for another 3 – 5 minutes, and then you would go 30 seconds – 3 minutes (depending on your structure (and whether or not you have any underlying heart or lung issues (asthma, heart murmurs, etc.)).
Once you get to your highest intense level on the treadmill, if you are not able to go the full 3 minutes, “do not beat yourself up about it.
It’s a process, and you are trying to reach goals, and heights that are for you (and if possible, set by you). You are doing this for your self-worth and health and fitness, no one else’s.
The other form of stationary, impact, running is (without a treadmill, or running outside), running in place, in one location, in one spot.
You can do this with or without sneakers or tennis shoes (whichever feels more comfortable to you), and you can do this with or without a mat (it’s up to your personal preference).
How you performance this endurance fitness exercise?
- You would pick a spot (and place) where running indoors will not cause an issue with sound (or vibrations)
- Choose whether or not you will run barefoot or with footwear
- Decide whether or not you will run on a hard surface, or a mat (once again, this comes down to personal preference)
- Next (Make sure you are standing straight up), you will do a running motion with your legs, and move them straight up and down (while keeping your back straight), one foot at a time as hard as you can
- Make sure that you are moving your arms swinging your arms forward and backward while keeping them in a 90 degrees angle.
For this style of stationary, impact, running, you will want to do 1 – 3 sets of 3 – 5 minutes. If you are only able to do 1 set of 3 minutes to begin, that is perfectly fine – Remember, you focusing on starting and going with a pace that suits “you,” no one else.
As weeks and months go on, and your muscle memory, tells your body, that the amount of sets, and the amount of time that you are doing those sets, is quite simple, “then” pick things up a notch, and challenge yourself more.
Pushing yourself to have better endurance fitness is important, but “no one” understands your body better than you do, so challenge yourself, yes, but understand that all your fitness goes will not be reached in one day.
Cycling endurance fitness training
Cycling is well known in the health and fitness world as an excellent means to get in shape and stay fit. Fitness experts agree that this is a great means to build up your endurance fitness, but how long should you go when you first start, how long should you go if this is already a part of your workout routines, and should you, or should you not stretch before you begin.
Don’t worry, we’re going to answer all of these important questions for you.
How long should you cycle when you are just beginning?
Because your body (and therefore muscle memory) is not used to your body going through such physical activity, you will want to begin on a lower level of resistance, and try going for around 10 minutes per endurance fitness exercise, until your body warms up to it.
If you are a beginner to this form or endurance training, it is also suggested that you first start your cycling routines on a stationary bike.
The reason for this is that because you are just beginning to perform cycling as an exercise routine, you are not sure how much your body can actually do, and what you are (or are not) capable of, so you will want to eliminate obstacles such as 1.
Weather conditions that come with cycling outdoors, 2. Traffic, which in some areas, can get VERY busy, and 3. Pedestrians walking by, which, even when you are in the bike lanes, some people still do not have the courtesy, to just walk in front of you, in the lane.
How long should you cycle, if you have been cycling for a while but want to focus harder on building up your endurance fitness?
If you have experience with cycling (indoors and outdoors), then you are pretty comfortable (and know and understand) with what your body can and cannot do.
Because of this, you have a solid idea of how much you can push yourself, and if you have not taken that chance to go all out, and see how high of a level you are able to go on a bike (and you have been riding consistently (2 -4 times a week) for at least 6 months) – “then now’s the time.
Even though you may have experience riding, if you have never truly “pushed yourself” while cycling, but you have been doing it for a while, and would like to use this means to build up your endurance fitness, it would be wise to first push yourself on a stationary bike (due to the 3 conditions, listed in the last paragraph (when it comes to cycling outdoors)).
Once you see how far you are able to push yourself on a stationary bike (it would be wise to give yourself at least a month, to truly get a feel (and be comfortable) with riding at a higher level), then you give cycling outdoors (at a high level) a try.
With the extra time that you spent indoors testing things out on the stationary bike, you will be more comfortable and equipped, with making any “unsuspected” maneuvers that may arise (and do naturally occur) when cycling outdoors.
Should you stretch or not stretch before performing cycling for endurance fitness?
The short answer is “yes.” Before any exercise, it is “imperative” that you give your body time to loosen up, and time to properly prepare for the workout that’s about to take place.
Stretching before cycling can prevent muscle cramps, a pulled muscle, as well as sprained ankles from calve muscles being too tight.
Do not take the chance and risk injury, give yourself at least 5 minutes to loosen up your muscles and joints, so that you will be able to fulling push yourself while you endurance train, without the worry of suffering an injury.
Whether you go with running, or cycling, to building up your endurance fitness, remember to take things one day at a time (and if you feel that one is needed), to begin with a personal trainer, or fitness expert, so that you do not injury yourself as you begin.
Some people feel better working with women fitness trainers, more than male ones, others feel more comfortable working with male fitness trainers, over female ones.
If you feel one is needed for you to begin), choose the fitness trainers encourages you, when your down and feeling low, and knows and understands when to push you hard, and when to step back and say “alright, that’s enough for today” – Regardless of their sex (It’s about who your gut feeling agrees with most).
We hope that everyone is excited about applying some of the tips and techniques for their endurance fitness, that we have shared here today, but because we care about your overall health, and not just how toned you are, we want to caution everyone to first check with your physician to make sure that your body is capable and able to perform these different types of endurance exercises shared here today.
If you happen to have a heart, lung, or other health issues, we also ask that you first check with your doctor to see if these types of exercises are safe for you to take part in.
Now with all of that excitement, it is time to take action. Set a schedule that works best “for you,” and allows you to do your endurance fitness exercises, without it weighing you down, when you return to school and/or work, the next day – Remember, “pace yourself” – Even Leonardo Da Vinci took time to create his great sculptures, so allow yourself the same time and respect to create your magnificent sculpture that will leave you smiling, and having that awesome person staring back at you in the mirror – “Glowing.”