Fitness is a vital topic for everyone that is truly interested in their health. Many of us take the pledge each year to get in shape, but few of us understand what action to take or what level of commitment is necessary to make it happen. This article serves to provide you with all the tips and advice you need to make your dream a reality.
When you are weight lifting to increase fitness, it is always preferable to use free weights, not machines. This is because the free weights will allow you to build up the supporting muscles around the major muscle groups. Machines, instead, focus on very specific areas. You will see an increase in the amount of weight you can lift on the machine, but not as much strength as if you used free weights.
One way to stay healthy with your fitness routine is to make sure that your bench has enough padding when doing weight training. The padding is there for more than your comfort – it also is there to prevent injury. If there is not enough padding, you can severely hurt your spine and also cause nerve damage.
To prevent injury while lifting weights on a bench, make sure the bench is well-cushioned. When the bench is too hard, it can throw your spine out of alignment as you exercise, which in turn can damage the nerves in your arms. An easy test is to press down on the bench. Being able to feel the wood is a sign you need to move to a different bench.
If jogging or hitting the gym is not your thing and you love gardening, how about getting the shovel and wheelbarrow out and getting in a little exercise in your yard? In fact, the National Institute of Health, lists gardening among the moderate exercises that are recommeneded for combating obesity. Just weeding for 30 minutes can burn over 150 calories and you’ll work muscles in your back, legs and arms, without the jarring that jogging and aerobic exercises puts your body through. So the next time you dread putting on your jogging shoes, pick up a hoe and take care of that flower bed you’ve been meaning to get to, for the last month. It’s fun and great for your body.
Keep yourself motivated by trying new activities and classes. Try taking on something you’ve never done before. Consider taking a boxing class or learning yoga. Maybe you’ve always wanted to ballroom dance. Give it a try, you can never have too many ways to keep your body moving and active.
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.
A great fitness tip is to do sit-ups. Even though many people claim that sit-ups are not effective, they are actually very effective. They give you a bigger range of motion, which strengthens the abs. However, you should never do sit-ups with your feet anchored because you could hurt your lower back.
Don’t underestimate the power of the television or music players. Allowing yourself to get lost in a juicy subplot or high-energy dance mix allows you to continue to workout without allowing the physical exertion to overwhelm you or put you in a negative state of mind. Better yet, schedule your gym trips during your favorite sitcom. Your thoughts will be glued to the screen, even if your feet are glued to the elliptical machine.
A great fitness tip is to start performing lat pulldowns. In almost every gym you’ll find a lat pulldown machine. Lat pulldowns are a great way to build up your lat muscles. If you have a few different attachments you can work multiple areas of the muscle.
A great tip to help you get physically fit is to start playing racquetball. Playing racquetball can burn a lot of calories because you constantly have to run back and forth to hit the ball. Try to find a racquetball club near you that offers a fair amount of courts.
Never lift weights for more than an hour. If you continue lifting for any longer than that, your body will automatically activate a natural defense mechanism, which causes muscle-wasting and fatigue. Keep yourself on a strict time limit to prevent losing what muscle mass you have worked so hard to gain.
When you are doing repetitions of an exercise, try counting backwards to your goal instead of forwards to it. It’s a mental trick. When you are concentrating on those big numbers you tend to think it is impossible to do more, while just the opposite holds true when you are decreasing your count. You may find those sets that were hard to get through are a little easier this way.
Hurting your arm does not mean you cannot work it out. If you focus on your opposite arm you can still build strength in the injured arm. This happens because when you work out one arm, the muscle nerve fibers in the other arm are stimulated as well. By training the healthy arm for a couple of weeks while healing, you can see upwards to 10 percent strength gain in the injured arm.
If you are looking to run faster, try lifting more weights. Studies have shown that experienced runners who also lift weights were able to increase their 5k times by up to 30 seconds. It is important to know that this tip should only be used for professional or experienced runners.
Each of us has some impression of our ideal selves, but although we may never have rock hard abs, a commitment to fitness is truly giving yourself and your family, the gift of an extended life. By applying the tips and advice from this article to your daily life, you will begin to shed the pounds that you’ve been looking to lose and you will feel better in general. Fitness is never, time wasted.