Fitness Tips

  1. Tell someone important to you what your fitness goals are to help solidify your commitment—to yourself and to that person.
  2. Write down your goals and post them in a prominent place such as next to your bathroom mirror, on a door you use daily, or on your refrigerator. Set up your computer's calendar program at work so that your goal flashes onscreen when you start your computer every morning.
  3. Although this is rarely a problem for beginning exercisers, too much flexibility can increase the risk of injury just as too little flexibility does.
  4. In addition to raw numbers representing time, weight, and the like, you can add a column to the log to note whether a workout was easy or hard for you. This will also help you track your progress.
  5. Videos only work when you use them as regularly as you would a scheduled class. An unplayed or rarely played tape does nothing to enhance your fitness.
  6. To combat boredom from an oft-repeated workout, you and your friends can trade or exchanged exercise videos.
  7. If you can't quite afford a trainer, find a fitness partner to share the time and the fee. One-on-one training can't be beat for personal attention, but one trainer with two clients is still a very good ratio.
  8. Some trainers now use the phrase "warm-down" instead of "cool-down" because activity is involved. If you are genuinely pressed for time and can only stretch once during a workout, it is better to stretch at the end. Just try not to make a habit of avoiding a gentle warm-up stretch.
  9. If you tend to get stiff, take a hot shower or bath before exercising to increase flexibility.
  10. A balanced program to enhance overall fitness should include a minimum of two and preferable three resistance workouts a week.
  11. Muscles get stronger more quickly than attachments (that is, tendons and ligaments). If you start lifting weights that are too heavy, too quickly, because your muscles are strong enough, you risk injuring the tendons and ligaments.
  12. Many experts recommend that new exercisers, embarking on their first strength-training program, should start with machines rather than free weights. The stabilizing muscles required for free weights can relax because the machine takes over the stabilizing job. Therefore, machines require less coordination and experience. Beyond convenience and personal taste, there are benefits and drawbacks to both basic kinds of strength training.
  13. Whether you work with weight machines or free weights, control the weights throughout the full range of motion to get the maximum benefit. Inhale on the exertion, whether it's a lifting, pulling, or pushing motion, and exhale when returning the weight to the starting position. Do not allow the weights to swing or let momentum take over.
  14. Putting leg weights on the ankles is more effective weight work because, being low on the leg, the position creates a longer weighted lever. However, for some exercises, it is safer to put the weight above the knee in order to protect the knee joint.

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