Endurance is the ability to physically and mentally endure strenuous sporting activities for a long period of time and to recover quickly from the strain thereafter. Improved endurance increases physical fitness as well as mental well-being. It yields better results in every kind of sport. Good endurance also has a positive effect on your day-to-day life.
Running is most effective for (aerobic) endurance as well as for the burning of calories and fat. You can run whenever and wherever you want. Beginners can get good results even from a training duration of 20 minutes per unit. For your benefit, we have compiled the most important points regarding the effects of endurance training.
Sport in general and endurance training in particular work preventively and therapeutically against depressive moods and depression. This is because of the hormones that are secreted after physical activity and the beneficial break in the fresh air (secretion of melatonin and serotonin).
This effect is particularly noticeable when sporting activities – be it jogging, cycling, Nordic walking, walking or skiing – are carried out in the open. Since depression also fosters cardiovascular diseases and the metabolic syndrome (lipometabolic disorder, high blood pressure, obesity, insulin resistance etc.), endurance sports – especially those that are practised amidst nature – are very good for health.
Endurance training is mostly carried out aerobically, i.e., in a condition, in which the body converts the energy in the body using oxygen. Long training units with moderate strain are characteristic to aerobic training, whereas sprinting is an example of anaerobic training.
In brief: aerobic energy metabolism takes place when carbohydrates and fats are burnt and broken down using oxygen. In anaerobic energy metabolism on the other hand, only carbohydrates can be broken down without oxygen; fats are not burnt because this requires always oxygen.
Healthy training is thus primarily aerobic training, e.g., 30 minutes of jogging two to three times a week (mostly 70 – 80% of the maximum heart rate). As mentioned at the start, endurance training is especially good for sports beginners as well. A gentle approach should be chosen for them, for example 20 minutes of running two-three times a week with sections, where they alternate between running and walking. The training duration should then be increased slowly and steadily.
The intensity of endurance training is primarily measured based on the heart rate, i.e., the number of beats per minute. If you are committed towards fitness and want to control your training more accurately, you should use a heart rate monitor. The training intensity can vary from person to person. In general, when it comes to health and fitness, your target tempo should be such that you can still converse with your running partner. Often, lowered resting pulse is a sign of increased endurance in athletes because the heart grows (it is also a muscle!), gets trained and starts performing better in fewer beats because of the workout.