10/26/2010 01:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

6 Ways to Boost Your Stamina

People are always looking for ways to improve stamina. Stamina, which can basically be described as the ability to keep yourself going, is a key component to athletic performance. Building better stamina can be accomplished through a variety of means and will help you achieve more in all areas of life. Whether you are sitting through hours of business meetings, running a marathon, or raking the leaves, improving your stamina will help you excel.

Modify Your Diet

Incorporating healthier foods into your diet is an effective way to improve your overall stamina. When weight gain begins to creep up on you, physical performance will suffer. To maintain an ideal weight, choose more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains. Avoid fast food and other junk foods that are high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar. (See 100-Calorie Snack Ideas.)

Improve Your Flexibility

Performing athletically or physically in any other way is difficult if your muscles are tight or tense. Tight muscles can sap precious energy from your body, so improving overall flexibility will also help improve your stamina. Stretch thoroughly before and after exercise and consider taking up yoga, for example, to keep your muscles loose and relaxed at all times.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body hydrated is essential for it to function well in any capacity. The old "eight glasses of water per day" rule is a good guide to follow. Try to limit caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea, which tend to dehydrate, and avoid sodas, which are loaded with sugar. (See How Much Water Should a Person Drink Everyday?)

Run Hills, and Include Intervals in Your Workout

If you are an athlete, running hills or including intervals in your workouts can improve your stamina quickly. Interval training refers to performing an intense activity, followed by a brief period of rest, then repeating. Often, athletes will sprint for a set distance, then walk to recover, and sprint again. Hill training can also be used as an interval, by sprinting hard up the hill and walking back down.

Get Active

For the non-athlete who wants to improve stamina for everyday life, getting yourself active in any capacity will help. Walking, swimming, biking, playing tennis, golfing or doing exercise at a gym will all get your blood pumping and help increase your stamina.

Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

Your brain is responsible for everything that goes on inside your body, sending signals to it all the time. Your brain runs on glucose, but it is unable to store it, according to Energy First. When your blood sugar levels fluctuate too much, it can wreak havoc inside your body and affect your stamina. When blood sugar levels are too high, the excess gets stored as fat, which can affect stamina. When you wait too long between eating and your blood sugar drops, your brain has no fuel, thereby resulting in fatigue, which will also affect stamina. Eating smaller, more frequent meals will help keep blood sugar regulated throughout the day. (See How to Control Blood Sugar with Diet and Exercise.)

By Joshua McCarron

Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005, and in that position he has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. He is currently a contributor to and McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English in 1994.

6 Ways to Boost Stamina
. Courtesy of LIVESTRONG.COM