By   February 28, 2011

Whether you are trying to jump-start your fitness routine or just trying to keep it on track, adding a few fresh ideas to you fitness bag of tricks can be very effective. Take a look at the following tips to find some advice that might be just what you need to get you closer to your goal.

To stay fit, forget the phrase, “No pain, no gain!” This phrase is absolutely untrue! If you do a workout that causes you to suffer, you will be highly unlikely to continue to do it consistently. Instead of choosing exercise routines and forms of exercise that cause you distress, choose activities that you enjoy and want to do. Consistency is far more important in pursuing, attaining, and maintaining fitness than intensity.

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.

A great way to get fit is to post your progress pictures on an online forum such as bodybuilidng.com. Other people will be able to critique how you’re doing, and can help steer you in a better direction. Posting pictures is also a great way to get motivation.

After every workout, one thing you may want to do is take protein. This can be either in the form of a protein shake, a protein bar, or basically any meat product. This allows for your muscles to recover faster from your workout and overall make your muscles grow larger.

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.

Strength training can help you become a faster runner. A recent study showed strengthening exercises helped runners improve their time. Runners who did eight weeks of resistance training were able to shave time off of their run. The stronger you are, the faster you will be able to run.

Rather than seeing exercise as something you “must” do, try to see it as something you want to do! Love dancing? Then hit the nightclubs! Enjoy a good hike? Then grab your running shoes! Cleaning the house, taking a walk with an old friend, romping around in the backyard with your dog – if it’s something you enjoy doing, you’re much more likely to stick with it.

One great way to improve your fitness is to periodically do an exercise session, or a series of sessions, in which you purposefully work to exceed your usual limits or capacity by doing a high intensity or volume of exercise. If this period of exercise is followed by a period of rest, it can result in great fitness gains.

Make sure you our also working out your “invisible” abdominal muscles when you are doing your abdominal workouts. There are abdominal muscles underneath your six pack muscle that are responsible for keeping your tummy trim. To properly work them out, use the vacuum routine. Pull in your belly button toward your spine and hold it in for about 10 minutes, while breathing normal. Do this about 5 times.

To get the best results from your weight training workouts, be sure to limit them to no more than one hour. After you’ve worked out for 60 minutes or longer, your body starts making more cortisol. This stress hormone can block the production of testosterone and lead to muscle wasting.

If you want your fitness program to succeed, surround yourself with other people who also make working out a priority. You will be motivated by their successes, and you can learn from their failures. Enthusiasm is often contagious; if your friends and family members are excited about the results they are seeing, you will feel the same way.

It’s important to start encouraging your children to exercise at an early age. It’s better to get them into the habit right away rather than waiting until they are older. When they’re older, they have to unlearn any lazy habits they have. It’s much easier to get them to like exercising when they’re little.

Go to the head of the class. In your favorite fitness class, don’t be timid – choose a spot right in the front. It will make you work harder knowing that everyone behind you is watching you and seeing yourself working hard in the mirror will boost your sense of accomplishment.

When lifting weights, it is important to watch the clock. Don’t do heavy weight lifting for more then one hour. If you go longer, your body will produce more cortisol, which has testosterone-blocking effect. This can make it so that you are wasting your muscles instead of building them.

If you are looking to get a six pack, do many squats and deadlifts. Research shows that doing these kinds of exercises force abdominal muscles to do more work, making you gain muscles there. In addition to giving you a six pack, squats and deadlifts are good for your posture.

Remember to allow for seasonal equipment when you budget your fitness efforts. Outdoor sports and exercises can be a lot more fun than working out at home or in a gym. You have to remember, though, that the weather will be very different six months into your fitness plan! Think ahead, and buy the gear you need to keep working out all year round.

The powerful tips above may be all you need for the success you have been waiting for. It is not difficult to get going and be fit every day of your life when you have a bag of tricks filled with information that is truly effective. Knowing the right way to do it may be all you need.