The Importance of Stamina
Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal is not only strong, agile and accurate; he also has an awesome amount of stamina which keeps him in phenomenal form throughout the entire four quarters in each basketball game.
We may not all be slam-dunking sensations like Shaq, but stamina is important in a key area in our lives: our ability to read well.
As you know, reading well is a crucial life skill. Having a good reading stamina - the ability to read well for prolonged periods - is vital in ensuring we are proficient readers. Lack of reading stamina is like trying to drive a car without gas. Even a Ferrari without gas is useless! Reading stamina is the energy needed to fuel your reading habits. If you don't improve your reading stamina, reading becomes frustrating and yields little pleasure and results.
'Reading stamina is the energy needed to fuel your reading habits'.
Lack of reading stamina is becoming a major problem. According to a recent report by the Times Online in the United Kingdom, school students are increasingly losing their ability to read for prolonged periods.
Especially when we are inundated with an increasing amount of information in the age of the Internet, low reading stamina can stand in the way of achieving success in the workplace and at school.
Those with poor reading stamina usually do not enjoy reading and read out of necessity. They can miss out on a world of increased knowledge, academic and career success, and the joys of reading for pleasure.
Consider the case of John T Rex, information worker. He works at a medium size corporation in Chicago, Illinois. At work he must read reports, letters, emails, and use application software. John must review a lot of contracts, some of them as thick as 50 pages. John finds that his reading is fine for the first few pages. But with the turning of each new page, he finds it increasingly difficult to understand the text. After around five pages John needs to take a break to get away from the strain of reading. Unfortunately, this happens often and most of the documents are not thoroughly read. John has plenty of energy; he can chat for hours with his coworkers for instance. But when it comes to reading his energy vanishes after five to ten minutes. John firmly believes that he is a 'bad reader' and will simply never get better.
John's case is common for children and adults.
How Good Is Your Reading Stamina?
Take this quiz to find out.
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, it is possible you have a low reading stamina.
- Do you have trouble understanding what you read, if you only read it once?
- Does reading make you tired?
- Do you get sore eyes and headaches from reading?
- Do you get easily distracted when reading?
- Does it often take you a number of reading sessions to completely read a document or reports?
Fortunately, a low reading stamina can be improved with a little effort. Even a good reading stamina can be further improved.
So how do we ensure our reading stamina goes the distance to meet our reading needs? This newsletter will look at secrets on how to maximize your reading stamina and reading power.
'Maximize your reading stamina and reading power'.
Reading Stamina Secrets Revealed
Make sure your reading environment is comfortable and free from distractions.
- Turn the TV off and find a quiet spot where others are not talking.
- Sit at a desk with a comfortable chair.
- Ensure there is sufficient lighting. Use a desk light rather than relying on overhead lights.
- If reading from a computer, the lighting source should come from a ninety-degree angle to the computer. Ensure overhead lights are not too bright as these will create glare. Use a monitor shield to minimize glare.
[Page ^ Top ]
- Ensure your computer monitor is adjusted to the appropriate height and angle. The top of the monitor should sit just below the eye level and the monitor should be 18-23 inches away. Consult a good website on ergonomics such as (http://ehs.unl.edu/ Ergonomics/whathurts.cfm) for detailed information.
- Every hour, take a break from reading by getting up for a stretch and looking as far away into the distance as possible for 15-20 seconds, to retain your focus.
Practice your reading.
There is no miracle solution to improving your reading stamina. Research shows that reading stamina will gradually increase with the amount of time spent reading.
Just like athletes spend months and months preparing for the Olympics, reading stamina will only increase with quality reading practice.
- Set aside some time dedicated each week for reading.
- Set reading goals. Start with small goals. For example, tell yourself that you will read in ten-minute sessions initially. Then slowly build these up until you are able to read for one-hour sessions. Reward yourself when you reach these goals. Splurge on a new book or reading software; visit your local library to pick up some great reads.
- Remember that reading sessions are not meant to be like the New York marathon. Once you are able to read and concentrate well in one-hour sessions, do not over-stretch yourself. Take a five-minute break every hour to stretch, look away from your book or computer, or do other tasks (if you're in the office) such as filing. Taking short hourly breaks will ensure you maintain your concentration.
Enjoy your reading!
- Foster a love for reading by making books easily accessible in your home.
- Make reading an enjoyable family activity that everyone undertakes. Set aside two or three reading sessions a week so that everyone in the house reads. Remember, children will read if adults read too.
- Visit the local library.
- Read up on subjects which interest you, whether these are world politics or sports. Reading should not be stuffy and boring; it should be relevant to your life.
Get tested for visual, hearing and learning disorders.
Especially in the case of children, continual reading difficulties may be a result of undiagnosed visual, hearing and learning disorders. Disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD can often benefit from specialized reading programs. Vision problems may be reducing reading stamina by causing tiredness and eyestrain.
Eliminate bad reading habits.
- Become aware of how you read. Do you vocalize (say words in your head or under your breath) as you read? Do your eyes constantly skip back to words you have previously read? Do you suffer from eye overwork, where you use excessive eye movements and eye fixations to read?
- Vocalizing, skip back and eye overwork will often drain reading stamina. Make a conscious effort to curb these habits while reading. Use specialized reading software designed for this purpose or consult books on the topic.
By following these secrets, your reading stamina will surely increase with time. Your increased reading energy levels will take you a long way, on your path toward increased knowledge and greater success at school and in the workplace. Reading for long periods will become easier and even enjoyable. So go on, improve your reading stamina and open yourself up into a whole new world.
FREE trial of reading proficiency software
The ability to read quickly, accurately and with high stamina is a critical skill. Picture yourself as a fast accurate reader, getting through your work in half the time, knowing more, and having more free time to spend exactly how you want.
Consider the profound impact on your educational results, confidence and success in the workplace. Consider your future. RocketReader is the leading speed reading software that has transformed the careers of many thousands worldwide. RocketReader radically improves your reading speed, comprehension and stamina. Try the award-winning RocketReader software for yourself now, free and with no obligation.
RocketReader for professionals
RocketReader for students
RocketReader for teachers
1. Whitehead N. (2004), .The Effects of Increased Access to Books on Student Reading Using the Public Library., Reading Improvement, Fall Vol. 41 Issue 3, p165, 14p