Stamina Vs Endurance: What Is The Difference?


Exercise is a lot like fruits and vegetables. It’s all good for you – but in different ways! Some workouts build stamina, while others build endurance.

Both are important for your overall fitness. Sometimes they’re used interchangeably, but they aren’t exactly the same. Here’s how to tell stamina and endurance apart.


1. Time

Difference Between Stamina And Endurance: Time

The biggest difference is time and how it matters. Stamina measures the length of the time your muscles can work at or near maximum force. For example, a swimmer’s stamina may focus on how long one can swim at maximum speed.1


Endurance, on the other hand, is about extended duration. The goal is to keep going as long as you can.2

If that same swimmer has good endurance, she’ll be able to swim for hours on end, regardless of speed or force.


2. Capacity

Difference Between Stamina And Endurance: Capacity

The measurement of capacity is another factor. Training for stamina is all about holding that maximum capacity for as long as possible. A sprinter, for instance, should have amazing stamina. It’s vital for him to go top speed the entire time.


As for endurance? Capacity doesn’t matter. You could be performing anywhere from minimum to maximum capacity. The objective is to continue for as long as possible, just like a marathon runner would.

3. Energy Level

Difference Between Stamina And Endurance: Energy Level


Energy is needed for all kinds of exercise. But when it comes to stamina vs endurance, your body needs to exert energy in different ways.

Stamina requires a powerful burst. You need to end as strong as you started.


Energy for endurance is spread out as long as possible. If someone has good endurance levels, it means that he has trained his body to work for a prolonged amount of time. Using up all your energy in one go can be damaging for the final goal.

Exercises To Build Stamina

Building stamina calls for muscular strength. However, cardiovascular health is just as important. The best exercises to increase stamina include both anaerobic and aerobic workouts.


1. Walking

The simple act of walking will increase your stamina. It’ll raise your ability to withstand physical activity, to begin with. This option is also easy on the body, so there’s a low risk for injury.

2. Interval Training

Interval training is stamina in a nutshell. It calls for varying lengths of high-intensity exercise. To let your body recover, low-intensity exercises are done in between.3

3. Weight Lifting

Strength training will build muscle and make you stronger. In turn, you’ll have the power to work at maximum capacity.4 Just starting out? Use light dumbbells and resistance bands.

Exercises To Build Endurance

The top way to increase endurance is to boost your heart rate and breathing. This will “fuel” your body and keep you going. Unlike stamina, endurance workouts are mostly aerobic.

1. Walking

Walking increases endurance as well. It also doubles as an easy to warm up or cool down before and after exercise. If you want a bigger challenge, try jogging or running.5

2. Swimming

Swimming will increase your heart rate, and therefore, endurance. It’ll also keep your lung function healthy, helping you breathe efficiently. You don’t even need to do laps. Just floating around will do!6

3. Biking

Biking is an excellent activity for your heart. You can also get the same benefits from a stationary bike. And since this activity strengthens your muscles, you’ll improve both stamina and endurance.7

As you can see, the two are related. Increasing your endurance means that you can perform for a long time. From there, you have more “room” to work at maximum capacity, allowing stamina to improve.