Whether you have already embarked on a personal journey to fitness or you have just decided that getting fit is something you want to do, you can probably use some advice on the subject. A few quick fitness tips – like the ones below – can help jump-start the beginning of a great fitness routine or add variety to a well-established one.
To improve the effectiveness of your stretches, adjust the amount of time you hold your stretches to account for your age. Why? As you age, your muscles lose pliability, so you need to spend more time stretching them. The recommended duration for people under 40 years old is 30 seconds, while people over 40 years old should hold stretches for twice as long.
When working out, is it important that you drink plenty of water. Drinking water while working out will maintain proper hydration, which is vital during any heavy exercising. Being hydrated will help you to work out harder and you will be able to exercise for a longer period of time. Always keep a water bottle with you and just keep drinking!
Set goals. Whatever exercise you choose to pursue, set weekly goals and track your progress. You may set any goal appropriate for your fitness level, but the key is to persistently follow through on your plan. Record your daily workouts on a chart or keep a simple tally indicating that you completed the exercises you had planned to do.
Treadmills and other forms of indoor exercise equipment are great, but they don’t compare to exercising in the great outdoors. Treadmills are a great bad-weather substitute, but there’s nothing quite like running on pavement.
One of the biggest excuses not to exercise is that you have things to do. So why not buy a treadmill? Using a treadmill will allow you to get things done while you work. You can do school work, watch TV, go over your work assignments, or even just read a book.
You can intensify the benefits of your workouts by practicing controlled breathing. When doing situps, exhale strongly when your body is at its highest. Exhaling deeply makes the muscles in your abdomen contract more and work harder than if you just exhale normally.
To maximize your biceps when working out, try to flex your wrists more. You need to extend them slightly backward when exercising your biceps and keep holding them that way until the exercises are over. This is the best way to fully maximize the benefits of your standard arm curls.
Proper exercise will require that you build up your stamina if you’re overweight and relatively inactive. You can start to increase your stamina by working on your breathing techniques. When working out, you literally get “winded.” Learn to take in more oxygen during your workout and you can increase your duration.
In between your workouts, you should try and change the grip on the bar that you use. Some people use a medium grip, while others use a large or wide grip. Changing the grip actually changes the type of muscle that you can work out, and you can get a variety of work outs for a single bar.
Don’t overcompensate for exercise by eating more food, or you will simply end up taking in excess calories. While exercise does increase your nutritional needs, the increase is not noticeably large. You don’t need to make a conscious effort to increase your food intake unless you are working out for several hours a day.
A great fitness tip to help you build up your legs, is to start doing step ups. Step ups are sort of similar to lunges but you take a step onto a higher platform. You can also hold a dumbbell in each hand to make them even more effective.
Do not be afraid to add unconventional workout programs to your fitness routine. If you want to jump rope or learn to tap dance, go for it! As long as you are staying active, there is no right or wrong way to work out. If you can make it fun, you are more likely to continue your quest for physical fitness. So, look around and see if you can find any classes or programs that you are interested in.
Exercising with a weight belt on is not as helpful as commonly thought. While you may think that you are increasing your strength by wearing a weight belt, you are actually doing just the opposite. It’s been found that consistently wearing weight belts while exercising actually weakens your lower-back and abdominal muscles.
Smaller muscles are typically weaker muscles which means exercises that focus on them should come first. Work with dumbbells first to take advantage of these muscles early. Proceed to barbells and then machines. This will allow you to step up to the larger, stronger muscles as you go through your routine.
Try to mix it up during your work outs. Keep it fresh and try new machines. Look up new work outs that you can try and new exercises. This will help keep it more interesting when you work out and will lead to working out more parts of your muscle.
If running is part of your fitness program and you are looking to increase your speed, take faster steps, not longer ones. The same stride length that feels natural and comfortable to you is also your most healthy. Your feet naturally fall into the best-balanced and safest stride. Pushing yourself to take longer steps, reduces your balance and increases your risk of injury.
Purchase top quality running shoes that fit. Visit a store that specializes in running to find the perfect pair. If your shoes don’t fit, your running program will never feel comfortable or fun. You will never stick to a program if you are battling with an ill fitted pair of shoes. You will also save money in the end by purchasing top quality shoes, because they will last you longer.
One thing most good fitness regimens have in common is personalization. You need a fitness routine that works for you, not a stringent course you must follow exactly. A flexible routine can easily incorporate the new fitness ideas you pick up, and new ideas can keep anyone’s fitness program from getting stale.