It should come as no surprise that losing weight and getting fit are nearly always among the top 10 New Year’s resolutions that Americans make every year. They’re goals that the majority of us strive toward, but precious few actually reach …
Perhaps it’s because most people think getting fit means spending grueling hours at the gym, forcing yourself to sweat through boring, exhausting workouts. This belief can make you give up before you ever get started …
In reality, you can probably get in shape much quicker than you ever thought possible, and have more fun doing it, by learning the top fitness tips below. And once you’re “in” on these secrets, do your friends a favor and share them!
10 Top Fitness Tips Everyone Should Know
10. Work Your Core
The core muscles of your abdomen, back and pelvis help you maintain balance and stability, help protect your back from injuries, and make it easier to keep proper posture. Exercises like the plank or the bridge are excellent for working your core, as are yoga and Pilates techniques.
9. Create Instability
Anytime you work out on an uneven surface, it will automatically cause your core muscles to work harder. This can be as simple as jogging on a beach, holding a free weight in just one hand at a time, or using a BOSU ball (half of an exercise ball with a platform on one side and a rounded ball on the other) to perform your exercises.
8. Do Squats
Squats are excellent for working out your lower body, but because they are so intense they can also help to burn fat and promote muscle-building body-wide. As you build more muscle, your body will also naturally burn more calories, too.
7. Give Free Weights a Try
Weights machines have their place, but they don’t give you the freedom of movement that free weights provide. When doing strength-training exercises with free weights, you can get a more dynamic, comprehensive workout, working muscles that the machines may miss.
6. Do Push-Ups
Push-ups are deceptively simple, working not only your upper body but also your core muscles and abs. You can kick your push-up intensity up a notch by putting your hands on an exercise ball, elevating your feet, holding one leg extended in the air, or changing up the placement of your hands.
5. Ditch Your Long Cardio Workouts for Shorter Interval Training Sessions
Did you know that people who exercised for 30 minutes daily for 13 weeks lost more weight than those who exercised for an hour daily?[i]
It’s becoming clear that shorter bursts of intense exercise can help you burn calories and fat faster than long, steady activity. In fact, men were able to burn up to 220 calories by riding an exercise bike for 25 minutes … but only 2.5 minutes of that time was vigorous exercise![ii] (The study participants warmed up for a couple of minutes, then pedaled as fast and as hard as they could for 30 seconds. This was followed by a four-minute recovery period. The combo was then repeated five more times.)
If you want to give this a try, check out the No Excuse Workout, which is exactly 4 minutes long, broken down into 8 specific sets. Each set lasts for 30 seconds – 20 seconds of intense exercise, and 10 seconds of rest.
4. Exercise Backward
Walking, jogging or even using an elliptical machine backwards instead of forwards helps to work out different muscles in your legs and puts less strain on your knee joints (making it ideal if you have a knee injury). It’s also a more intense workout than traditional forward walking/jogging, which means you may burn more fat and calories in less time. Research suggests you can burn body fat and improve your cardiorespiratory fitness with backward walking and running.[iii]
As a bonus, backward exercise works out your brain too, and may help you to improve your thinking skills and cognitive control.[iv]
3. Swap Static Stretching for Dynamic Stretching
Static stretching (such as bending down to touch your toes like you did in gym class) does not appear to have an impact on injury prevention, and in some cases may make physical performance worse (especially if the stretch is held for longer than a minute).[v] Dynamic stretching, which mimics the exercise you’re planning to do (such as walking lunges), appears to be much more effective at helping you to improve performance and agility.[vi]
2. Refuel After Your Workout … With Chocolate Milk
It’s important to give your body the proper nutrition in the 30 minutes after your workout, and research suggests chocolate milk, with its blend of protein, fat and carbs, can be an ideal recovery drink. Those who drank chocolate milk after a vigorous workout built more muscles, lost more fat and improved their aerobic power more than those who drank a carbohydrate-only drink.[vii][viii] NOTE: There is ongoing controversy as to whether the health benefits of milk outweigh it’s drawbacks; you “own” your health, no one else, so if this is of concern to you I urge you to continue to educate yourself on this topic and make the choices best for you (if you are not already subscribed, subscribe to our free newsletter above to learn more on this and other important health topics!)
1. Promote Healthy Muscle Repair Post-Workout
It is crucial that you give your body proper time for rest and recovery between workouts so your muscles have a chance to repair. Over-exercising can lead to muscle breakdown instead of muscle building, which you obviously want to avoid.
To help your muscles with their repair process, take Heal-n-Soothe as a regular part of your post-workout recovery. With a concentrated dose of proteolytic enzymes that eat excess fibrin and scar tissue, Heal-n-Soothe can help muscle tears and strains to heal properly while reducing inflammation, tightness and post-workout pain.
The number of proteolytic enzymes your body creates drops sharply around age 27. Less proteolytic enzymes available mean excess fibrin and internal scar tissue builds up around both major and minor injuries, reducing muscle flexibility, increasing stress on muscles and joints, and perpetuating the cycle of painful inflammatory post-workout effects.
Replenishing your body’s supply of natural proteolytic enzymes with Heal-n-Soothe, which also contains 12 of nature’s BEST anti-inflammatory compounds — including pineapple bromelain, tumeric, ginger extract, and Mojave Yucca — is an essential addition to your optimal post-workout routine.
Written By: Updated: February 6,2013