By   February 16, 2011

If our obesity levels as a nation are any indication, there is a lot of confusion and adversity to fitness in our lives. The choices we make determine so much about how we feel and look. This article will give you some great tips on how you can be a healthier and fit person. It doesn’t take much. Just, a little effort and knowledge.

Try to use free weights rather than exercise machines. While exercise machines are great a way to stay fit, your body can actually benefit more from free weights. Free weights work stabilizer muscles that most machines don’t. Not to mention, free weights are also much less expensive and bulky. It is a better choice all around to add free weights to your home gym.

If you are a bit older, or not as mobile as other people then go ahead and make your own garden. People are shocked at how much work gardening really is. Gardening requires a lot of time and hard work that comes in the form of digging, hauling loads and squatting in the soil. Gardening is among numerous activities you can do from your house to stay in shape.

The best fitness tip for building up your arms is to work opposite muscles in opposite sets of each other. The best example would be to work the triceps and then the biceps. Each has the opportunity to rest while the other is being worked. This minimizes your time and maximizes your workout.

Are you strapped for time when it comes to working out? Separate workouts into 2 sessions. Simply split your normal workout time into two parts. You can jog for half an hour when you get up and half an hour when you get home from work instead of running one complete hour. With two smaller workouts, you also have the flexibility to do one in the gym and one outside or at home.

When working out, be sure to wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Wearing shoes that are too tight, too big or that put uncomfortable pressure on any area of your foot will cause interuptions in your work-out routine and could even cause injury. Many aerobic and cross-training shoes provide adequate support for a wide variety of athletic activities.

A great way to get fit is to mention your goals to your friends and family. Sometimes other people just need a little nudge to get going and it’s great to be able to follow your goals alongside others. You’ll be more likely to succeed if other people are after the same thing.

It is very important to align your neck when you do crunches. In order to make sure your neck is in the correct position to do sit-ups or crunches, place the tongue onto the roof of your mouth. Placing your tongue in this position will help take the strain off of your neck.

Work on keeping your muscles limber by holding your stretches. For those under 40, try holding your stretches for about 30 seconds. For those over 40, try holding them for about 60 seconds. The reason for the time difference is that muscles lose their pliability as you grow older and can become strained or receive injury more easily than when you’re younger.

Jumping jacks are a classic calisthenic exercise that you can do. All you have to do is jump and separate your arms and legs. Then jump again and return to a normal standing position. Repeat this about 20 to 25 times a day. If you’re a little more athletic, you can increase the number of jacks.

If you do identical exercises in a fraction of your normal time, you can build muscles more quickly. This routine will work your muscles harder and will increase your endurance. As an example, you can perform a similar workout for 5 minutes less and still get a great result.

A good way to build forearm strength is to crumple up newspaper. You should lay a piece of newspaper on any flat surface. Using your dominant hand, start with one corner of the newspaper and begin crumpling. You should crumple for about 30 seconds. After you have finished that, switch hands.

If you are beginning an exercise routine, do not push yourself too hard. If you feel pain, take a break or sit out the remainder of the exercise. When beginning, your body needs to slowly get used to the exercises. You can seriously hurt yourself if you try to push yourself too hard. Just remember that your tolerence will increase with time.

A great fitness tip is to start doing lunges. Lunges are a great exercise to help build up your quadriceps and your hamstrings. You can also perform weighted lunges by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lunges are definitely an exercise where you’ll feel a deep burn.

Do not be afraid to ask for help from a fitness trainer. They can give you recommendations on what foods to include in your diet, and they are available to cheer you on as you attempt to reach your fitness goals. They can also help you avoid common mistakes that people often make while working out.

Try to reduce the amount of stress you have in your life. Find a nice relaxing place and maybe take a break from your work out and try and meditate or do some yoga. This will really help your fitness routine, and your body will love you for it.

When working with heavy weights over your own body weight, you should always try and wear a weight belt. This helps keep your spine in line and in case something happens, it can prevent death or serious injury. This is essential with working out with weights that you might not be able to handle.

As we said in the beginning, knowledge is what will help you make the right choices. Confusion and myths about health and fitness can make it easy for just shrug it off and say that you can’t do it. If this article has shown you anything, hopefully it is that being fit isn’t as hard as you thought it was.