Recent studies have shown that when people are given specific strategies to improve their activity levels, their motivation is higher than people that are starting out on their own without useful information to change their behaviors about exercise. The following strategies are simple, yet action-oriented to get you started on implementing a fitness program into your life.
In order to improve fitness levels when biking, try cycling with just one leg. The benefit of this is that you are able to focus on the important part of your leg stroke, that being the even distribution of workload among all of your leg muscles. This trains your leg for the upstroke and allows the minor, smaller muscles to get a greater workout.
Take time to stretch in between sets of weightlifting. Research has shown that people who stretch while waiting to start their next set of lifting weights have stronger muscles than those who just sit and wait between sets. Stretching is a little thing you can do to strengthen yourself while you’re resting.
Stretch problem areas more than those that are already flexible. This will loosen them up, even if not at first. If you leave these areas tight, it can lead to pain, especially if you exercise often. Take the time to stretch tight muscles before and after a workout and you’ll start to see them loosen.
Keep track of what you have been doing, and what is working for you. Evaluate what exercises you enjoy and what left you bored. A fitness plan should never be stagnant. Keep switching things up and changing things that aren’t working for you. A fitness plan that is set in stone is a fitness plan you’ll stop using.
You should change your fitness routine periodically so that you continue to benefit from exercising. If you use the same routine for too long your body becomes used to it and the benefits start to decrease. Adding a new exercise can also be fun and keep you from getting bored with your workouts.
To get immediate results from your workout routine, try doing circuit training. This technique involves a series of rapid moves between different exercises with no rest break in between. You might go from squats to pushups to jumping jacks. Circuit training lets you burn fat while strengthening your muscles, so you get faster results.
Make sure you’re not over doing your workouts. The best kind of workouts are those that push your body to its limit, but be careful not to go past your limit. You don’t want to risk injuring yourself. Instead, start small and work your way up. A runner doesn’t just jump into a 5k after not running for years, so you shouldn’t either.
Always warm up first. Muscles can generate much more power when they are warm. Usually, legs and arms are cooler than your trunk region, and warming them up before getting to your main exercise program gets the blood flowing to your muscles. This means you can have a stronger workout.
When exercising in sets, make sure to take some time out to stretch in between them. Try to stretch a good 20 to 30 seconds between each stretch. This can not only keep the muscles you just worked limber, but it can help increase overall strength by maximizing the benefits of each set.
When trying to build more muscle, try adding more meat to your diet everyday. Try consuming about 4-8 ounces a day for the best results. The protein in meat is what helps increase and build muscle tissue. Good examples of meat you should eat everyday are, chicken, fish and turkey.
When you are doing crunches, hold your tongue on the roof of your mouth during the duration of the crunches. It may seem silly, but when you do this, your head will align properly during this exercise. Using this method, you will greatly lower the strain on your neck while performing crunches.
A great fitness tip is to start using medicine balls in your workout routine. Medicine balls are great for balance, and they involve a lot of muscle fibers when lifting. You can lie back on a medicine ball and do dumbbell presses for a really good chest workout.
To build flexibility, be sure to concentrate on your tight, inflexible muscles twice as much as your flexible muscles. It sounds obvious, yet many people give equal treatment to both kinds when stretching. Take the majority of time to focus in on your known problem areas. With time and the proper amount of stretching, your flexibility will increase.
Always use the proper form when lifting weights to strengthen your biceps. You do not want to strain your arm muscles. To do it properly, you must extend wrists backwards a bit, and hold it for a few seconds. Then, release the wrist back into normal position slowly. This is the way to do a proper bicep curl.
Put it in reverse. If you typically work out on a treadmill or elliptical machine, try reversing your stride to enhance your muscles. Because your body is not accustomed to the reverse motion, it works different muscles and causes you to work harder. Gradually add a few minutes of reverse motion into each workout to really feel the burn and see results.
When strength training for health and fitness, make sure that for each set of abdominal exercises you perform, you do a corresponding set of lower back exercises. This is an important tip to follow, because concentrating only on abdominal muscles and neglecting your back, can cause poor posture and chronic low back pain.
Staying on your fitness program is the single-most important gift you can give yourself and family. By significantly increasing your activity levels, the pay-off will be that you will feel better, look better, and the exercise will increase your energy level. Give yourself the gift of health by implementing a fitness and exercise plan into your life.