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Stamina is a short-term measurement that refers to how long you can perform an individual task before needing a break.  Endurance is a long-term measurement of your ability to perform tasks over a long period.  You might have the stamina to run a sprint, but not the endurance to run a marathon…or vice versa.  The two are wonderful traits to maintain as we age, but depending on variables such as genetics and lifestyle, they both naturally decrease significantly as we age.

What Happens To Endurance And Stamina As We Age?

Between the ages of 45 and 60, a person will lose 4 pounds of muscle and gain about 4 pounds of fat from natural body processes.  Muscle loss is directly related to a loss of muscular strength and stamina.  Similarly, your cardiovascular health is directly related to your endurance.  The loss of endurance and stamina by age 60 make physical movements more challenging, you tend to tire more rapidly and your metabolism slows down, making it easier to gain weight.

The good news is, there are ways you can increase both your stamina and endurance that will help you to live an active and happy life as you grow older.

Best Ways To Maintain Endurance And Stamina As You Age

1)      If you’ve been out of the swing for a while, begin slowly.  You might start by increasing the amount of time you spend moving around the house – walking up stairs, performing more challenging household chores, lifting heavier objects.

2)      Engage regularly in cardiovascular activities.  Find an activity – brisk walking, light jogging, riding a stationary bike – that elevates your heart rate and that you can perform at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. You may find that you will have to build up to a full workout, but it will get easier with time.

3)      Strength training is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to keep muscles strong.  This will enable you to exercise longer, which will boost both stamina and endurance.  Simple bicep curls are a great place to tone up the strength on your arms.

4.)    Consider learning chair exercises, which can be done to build strength while watching TV.

It’s never too late to get in shape.  The benefits to aging gracefully and retaining your independence are numerous and you’ll be thankful you made the effort.