By   February 27, 2011

Do you feel like it is too hard to get into shape? Remember that the more you know about getting in shape, the better prepared you will be. This article is full of great tips to help get you started.

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.

If you find yourself stuck behind a computer every day, make sure to get away from it at least once every hour. Do some stretching. Walk around. Do some jumping jacks or a few quick pushups. Try not to spend most of your day just sitting in one place.

Once you have embarked on a new fitness routine, you may be tempted to overdo it. To build your strength and stamina, you should push yourself only slightly more each time you go into your chosen activity. Stretching afterwards is key to ensuring you protect the muscles you are building.

When beginning a new fitness routine, it is important to ease yourself into it. This will give your body time to become accustomed to it, and will lessen the chance of injuring yourself. Also, you are more likely to stick to the routine if you start with something that is easily achievable. Once you get used to the exercise, you can increase the intensity and length of time.

If you want to bench press without injuring yourself, proper form is a must. Remember to always lie completely flat on the bench. A great way to always maintain the proper form is to leave your feet firmly planted on the ground, and always grip the bar no more than shoulder width apart. This will allow a fluid, natural motion and enable you to keep a solid form.

There will be days when you have zero motivation to workout. On days like this, commit to doing just ten minutes of exercise. If you get started, chances are you will continue exercising past the first ten minutes. Even if you don’t continue exercising, ten minutes is better than no minutes.

Use the stairs instead of the elevators whenever you can. Stair climbing is a great way to get a little exercise during the day. A few flights of stairs can give you a good workout for your heart and legs. When you do this throughout the day at work, you would be surprised at how much exercise you are able to fit in by the time you leave for home.

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 follow a set order when working out. First, use dumbbells. Then, use barbells. Finally, use machines. You use this order because dumbbells focus on the smaller, stabilizer muscles that fatigue faster than the larger muscles. Once your smaller muscles are exhausted, move on to the machines to hit the larger muscle groups.

Most people don’t realize that regularly performing dead lifts and squats can actually give your abdominal muscles a great workout as well. By performing at least five sets of ten reps each, your body is toned in a way that enhances your natural posture and firms the oblique muscles with no additional effort.

To learn how to effectively catch a football, try aiming for its tip. If you attempt to focus on the ball, it will appear blurry, but if you watch the tip, you can clearly see where the ball is going and try to catch it. You are also blocking out incoming defenders by focusing on this single spot.

Fitness can be achieved by burning extra calories while doing mundane activities. If you go shopping, park further away from the store so you are encouraged to walk a little more. Go out and walk your dog but take a longer walk than usual to burn a few extra calories. Adding extra movement to any daily activity will help increase the calories burned and help you towards your fitness goal.

You should avoid trying to exercise when you are ill. If all of your symptoms are above the neck, you may still exercise if you want. If you are sick and working out, your body will be trying to heal itself. It will not be focused on building muscle and endurance. If you are sick, it is best to stop exercising until you are better.

Dribble a basketball in heavy gloves. Doing this will allow you to learn other methods of hand control, since you cannot feel the ball. Famous basketball stars credit this method with helping them learn hand control, and studies show that it really does help. Get some thick gloves and dribble away!

Work on your flexibility. Flexibility and stretching often fall by the wayside in our hurry to get through our cardio and strength training and get on with our days. To prevent injury, improve flexibility, and decrease soreness, take the time to stretch after your workout. Better yet, enroll in a yoga class to limber up even more.

For people over 40, it is important to stretch for at least 60 seconds before a workout. This is because the older a person is, the less flexible your muscles are. For people 40 and under, it is recommended that you stretch for 30 seconds prior to a workout.

Now that you have this information, you know there are easier ways you can get fit. Keep in mind that more knowledge is out there, but you are not going to achieve any results if you do not apply the information to your own circumstances. By utilizing all your acquired knowledge, you should experience success and be fit in no time.