Here are several definitions of the word, STAMINA:
- Physical or moral strength to resist or withstand illness, fatigue, or hardship; endurance.
- Resistance to fatigue, illness, hardship, etc.; endurance
- The energy and strength for continuing to do something over a long period of time; power of sustained exertion, or resistance to hardship, illness etc.
I am certain that we all feel that our “stamina” has changed over time, with there being less and less of this our ages advance. Personally, when I think back to when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I could stay up much later, work many more hours, exercise longer and in many other ways, display much more stamina than I can at age 66.
Physical and mental health contribute greatly to the subjective sensation of stamina. First, concerning mental health, depression and other mood disorders will tend to lower stamina, even in younger people.
Turning to the physical contribution, medical conditions and the medications used to treat these problems can markedly reduce stamina. I have seen many patients that developed “Long Covid” and these people describe an incredible diminution of their stamina from baseline. Heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain and other conditions will significantly lower stamina. Additionally, the medications used to address these conditions may have side effects that also lead to lower stamina.
One of the very first positive outcomes that our patients describe to us when they lose weight is the incredible increase in stamina they feel. Breathing mechanics, improved sleep, less pain and global improvement of their other symptoms lead to this heightened stamina.
One of the very best ways to increase your stamina is to shed the weight. We cannot turn the clocks back (well, not officially anymore) but we can get that scale number down. Stay focused on your weight control efforts!