Resolve to get fit:How to improve overall endurance

It’s one thing to resolve to get fit. It’s another to continue to push physical boundaries time and again.

Pushing oneself physically can be exhausting and demanding. But whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a part-time fitness enthusiast or even someone who lives a largely sedentary lifestyle, you can find ways to dig down and improve your overall endurance.

Many athletes find pushing their bodies past certain boundaries to be empowering. Letting complacency set in is easy, but finding the motivation to press on and push ahead takes mental determination. The following are a handful of ways to push past physical glass ceilings and improve endurance.

• Join a marathon. The statistics reporting site StatisticsBrain.com states that only 0.5 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations have ever run a marathon. Running on the treadmill at the gym or a couple of miles around the track is excellent exercise. Runners can take their passion a bit further by enrolling in any of the hundreds of marathons and half-marathons held annually. Crossing the finish line after running 26.2 miles is a rewarding feeling, and few activities do more to improve endurance than running a marathon.

• Try a new gym class. Pushing yourself physically may mean getting out of your comfort zone. Gyms typically offer an array of classes to appeal to as many members as possible. Take advantage of these group classes or personalized training sessions. Explore barre workouts, TRX and ViPR which involve loaded movement and strength training paired with cardiovascular workouts.

• Increase workouts gradually. It can be daunting to think about greatly improving your endurance levels. But taking a gradual, incremental approach to improving endurance is both safe and effective. Also, when engaged, mentally divide the workout into smaller chunks of time. This way you have several smaller goals to accomplish, rather than one large goal. This can make it easier to digest a tough workout.

• Use friends to keep you motivated. Having friends workout alongside you can keep you motivated. Workout buddies may offer the encouragement necessary to keep pushing through. Another motivating factor is bragging rights afterward.

• Have a good emotional connection. A desire to have a great body may not be enough to motivate you to workout and push harder. If not, think of a better reason to exercise, and it may be the mind over matter you need. Many people find inspiration from family health history risk factors or through the goal of reversing negative health reports from doctors’ offices. These motivating factors will help you press on and push harder.

Continuing to surpass fitness goals is something to include in this year’s list of health resolutions.

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