By   February 21, 2011

You need to take care of your yourself, no matter how old you are. There are many tell-tale signs that indicate your overall level of health. Your fitness level is extremely important to your health. Here are some tips to help you establish a good fitness routine.

If you want to build muscle mass, you must do resistance training. It’s as simple as that. Cardio exercise will not build muscle bulk, though it is healthy. If you wish to build visible muscles, you will need to do resistance exercises, preferably with free weights, not exercise machines.

Fitness relies heavily on physical activity in the form of exercise. You should exercise once a day for at least 30 minutes. If you initial can’t exercise for 30 minutes, try starting with 5 minutes, then slowly work your way up to 30 each day. Once you reach 30 days, try doing more strenuous activity or exercise for a longer time period.

Lunges are an excellent exercise that works out your calf and thigh muscles. To do them, simply stand with your left leg slightly in the front and your right leg slightly in the back. Then lean forward with your left knee slightly bent. Then stand back up. Do this for each leg ten times for three sets each leg.

When you use wall sits, you can improve the strength of your legs in not time at all. You should begin with a wall space that is wide enough for your body to fit and that allows you to safely do the move. Next, face away from the wall at about an 18 inch distance. As you sit down against the wall, your back needs to be flat, and your upper legs should be in a horizontal position. Continue to slide down the wall, bending your knees to the point where your thighs are perpendicular to your legs. Try to hold this position as long as possible.

Try joining a sports team to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals. If you have an entire team of people relying on you to be at practice and games every day, you’re not as likely to chicken out and skip work outs. Not only can it keep you on track, you can have fun too.

To save your knees, change your running shoes as needed. Shoes last about five-hundred miles. As soon as you buy them, label them with an expiration date. Divide five-hundred by your average weekly miles run, to figure out how many weeks your shoes should last. Changing out your shoes will help you to avoid possible injuries.

Warming up and cooling down are important aspects of physical fitness routines. Warm ups are particularly important because they get the body prepared for physical activity which can lead to higher efficiency. Cool downs are just as important because they help bring muscles back to their original resting state following a workout which helps prevent strain or injury.

To prevent injury during bench presses, give the bench itself a test by pushing your finger into the bench cushion itself. If while pressing the cushion you can touch the wood in the bench, move to another one. Benches that are hard can actually cause spine misalignment which affects the nerves in your arms and weakens them.

If you want to speed up your swimming, build up the flexibility in your ankles. When you are in the water, your feet perform like flippers. So the more flexibility in your ankles, the quicker you can move through the water. A great way to build flexibility in your ankles is to lay on the floor, point your toes straight out, then flex them back towards you.

Don’t anchor your feet when doing situps. Anchoring your feet can cause you to “cheat” on your situps by using your legs instead of your abdominal muscles, limiting the effectiveness of your workout. Anchoring your feet can also cause injury to your back. Instead, try doing situps on a medicine ball.

Exercise when your mood is bright. When you are in a really good mood, take the time to go exercise. The better you are feeling, the more you will likely push yourself. Exercising can also help you feel better than you already do, so going when you feel good is only going to make you feel even better.

Play a game or two. Video games, and tabletop games like foosball, table hockey, and ping pong, have all shown to be excellent ways to improve your hand-eye coordination. If you play a sport of any kind, you will need to improve on this, so pick up your game remote or a paddle!

Even after you get comfortable and experienced with your fitness routine, you should limit intense weight training workouts to no more than an hour at a time. When your muscles are subjected to extreme stress, your body begins producing cortisol. This is a hormone that interferes with your body’s testosterone balance and reduces or eliminates the benefits of continued weight training.

Study a little bit about how foods affect the body. Know what pasta does to your body compared to chicken. Understanding all of this will help you eat the right foods for your workout. Some foods should be eaten before a workout, and some should not. Get all the knowledge you can before starting.

Taking in lots of calcium can be great for certain fitness goals. Low-fat or skim milk is the best way to get calcium without taking a lot of useless fat in with it. Calcium does not just build strong bones. Heavy doses of calcium improve the muscle-building process. Muscles grow stronger faster with plenty of calcium.

In conclusion, fitness is extremely important to your overall well being. There are lots of obvious fitness related things that you can do as well as things that you may never have thought of. As long as you follow the tips and tricks in this article you should find much success.