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Take Your Fitness Into Your Personal Hands Today

If you are working harder and achieving less in your personal fitness routine, it is time to take a look at some helpful advice on how you can work smarter, not harder. Everyone can learn something new that can bring better results with less effort and you can begin by reading the great tips below.

Always be sure to stretch before any kind of work out or exercise routine. Stretching warms up your muscles and gets your body ready for a work out. Be sure to hold each stretch for ten to thirty seconds in order to get optimal results. Stretching also helps prevent injury.

Listen to your body when exercising. A little muscle soreness here and there is quite normal, especially if you have started a new kind of workout. Continuous pain is a different matter altogether. It is your body's way of telling you that you have overdone things, and are in danger of injuring yourself, maybe seriously. Rather than self-medicating with aspirin or another type of pain reliever, visit your doctor.


Gym classes, led by an instructor, are an excellent way to improve your overall fitness level. Instructors plan routines in advance to optimize the right proportions of muscle work, aerobic work and stretching for each class. You just show up, follow the teacher's lead, listen to some good music, and hopefully have some fun too.

To help you include exercise into a tight schedule, you should walk whenever possible. That could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the office or parking at the back of a large lot to give you a brisk brief walk to the store. When it comes to working out, every little bit counts.

While horseback riding visualize your legs extending all the way through the stirrups to the ground. This technique will give you a better seat and allow you stay in the saddle even in the roughest terrain. Combine this visualization with a deep seat where you position yourself far back in the saddle and your confidence level will shine.


Hiking is a great way to stay fit without having to spend a day at the gym. A state park is a great place to hike, sinc most of them have well groomed, predesignated trails. Not only will you get a cardiovascular workout, but there's a good chance you will also take in some spectacular views.

To get more muscle bulk, eat meat. Research shows that four to eight ounces of meat daily will help you add size to your muscles. A study followed two groups of men who performed the same exercise program. One group ate meat, and the other did not. While both groups grew stronger, the meat-eaters gained more bulk to their muscles. You can eat chicken, fish, turkey, beef, or pork to help add size to your muscles.

It is best to not workout on an empty stomach. Your body needs fuel, particularly if you are putting it through a grueling and sweat-inducing workout. Fuel up on good, healthy foods that will provide you with the energy you need to get through your workout and your body will thank you.

When you go to the gym for a weight workout, think small to large when it comes to your activities. Begin with with dumbbells and end with machine work. The smaller muscles you need to use with dumbbell work tend to tire more quickly than the larger muscle groups used in machines. Therefore, end with the machines as your body will then need less from those smaller muscle groups.

Once you commit to your fitness plan, do not let an injury keep you out of the game. If you get the okay from your doctor, there are always ways to work around an injury and get in some sort of a workout. Working muscles that are not injured will burn calories and help keep you fit while you heal.

If you need to add a challenge to your fitness routine but are not ready to design a new workout, try completing your workout in less time. Pushing yourself to complete the same exercises in 90 percent of the time you normally use, will provide a more challenging, intense workout session.

A great fitness tip is to perform upright rows. Upright rows are a great exercise that can help develop your deltoids and your biceps. To correctly perform the upright row you'll want to grab the bar at shoulder width. Then you'll want to lift your elbows up while keeping the bar close to your body.

If you want to improve your balance, follow these steps. First, stand with one leg on a sofa cushion. Then, move a medicine ball around your body. Once you've become an expert at this move, try it with your eyes shut. This will improve your balance, coordination, and body control.

So, what do you want out of your fitness plan? Whether it's weight loss, toning or just improving the state of your health - you can succeed in your goals. Take the information above and use what works for you. It's your body, take good care of yourself!

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