By   February 9, 2011

Are you in an exercise rut, or have you hit a fitness plateau? It never hurts to include more ideas into your fitness toolbox. Good tips, along with variety and hard work, will help you achieve your fitness goals. Use these ideas to make your workouts more effective and to augment your fitness plan.

Make sure you make every effort to do as much exercise as you can throughout the day. It can be something like choosing to ride your bicycle to work instead of driving if you live close enough. You can also try to park a couple blocks away from work or the store to give you more walking time throughout the day, every little effort helps.

Setting a goal will help you stay motivated. A goal is a wonderful tool as you are concentrating on achieving it rather than focusing on any obstacles in your way to getting there. Goals can also keep you working steadily if you think of them as part of a continuing process, in which you’ll always have something to strive toward.

Set goals. Having something you’re working toward makes the exercise worthwhile. Whether you want to fit into a dress, run a marathon or look great at a reunion, setting goals helps you to see a light at the end of the exercise tunnel and helps you to focus on that goal.

If you like to watch TV, do your exercise while you watch your favorite shows. When commercials come on, walk around the room or prepare for the next part of your exercise routine. You can even work with small weights while you sit on the sofa. It is always possible to find a creative way to obtain additional exercise.

Taking hikes is a good way to improve many aspects of fitness. Hiking will improve strength in ones legs as well as improving ones cardiovascular system. Hiking can also have the added benefit of being a good stress reliever. Also one can adjust the difficulty by adding or removing weight in a backpack.

Building your forearm strength is super easy. If you play tennis or raquetball a strong forearm is a benefit which will help improve your game. You can build your forearm strength by crumpling a newspaper. Lay a piece of newspaper on the floor, crumple it up into a ball for thirty seconds, and then repeat with the other hand.

Yoga is a great way to stay in shape. Yoga makes you more flexible by stretching your body in various poses. It also works your core muscles as you attempt to stay in the poses for lengths of time. Yoga is also very relaxing and is a great way to cool down after a long week of strenuous exercise.

Think like the tortoise and not necessarily the hare! For some people long periods of slow low-intensity exercise can be more beneficial than short bursts of activity. Take a long walk with your mate in the evenings, play a game of croquet, or show your stuff in a game of horse shoes. Do something that relieves your mind while slowly exercising your body.

Do not schedule regular periods of rest and recovery during your workout sessions. Instead, take periodic breaks only when you feel that you need them, regardless of the time spent performing exercises. However, you should rest less frequently in the earlier stages of your workout program, then more frequently as you begin to grow fatigued. Otherwise, you risk cutting your total workout time down unnecessarily.

Work your hamstrings in order to make your sprint faster. Your hamstring muscles help your speed and are used to push off. Leg curl is a great exercise to get strong hamstrings, but instead of releasing this exercise quickly, release slowly which will work your hamstrings more. Strong hamstrings equal a faster sprint.

Participate in kickboxing if you enjoy martial arts. The way this hybrid martial art form is taught and practiced in fitness training will promote general fitness and agility. It will improve your joint’s flexibility, your cardio health and endurance. Besides promoting your health, the kicks and punches you learn can also be used in self defense.

Improve your running by learning to breath properly. To breathe properly when running, lift your tummy as you inhale. Doing this causes your lungs to fully inflate with oxygen so that you can run for a longer period of time. You can practice by laying on the floor with a book on your tummy. The book should rise as you inhale.

Decrease your risk of cancer by adding some exercising time to your schedule. Even adding 30 minutes to your schedule can diminish your cancer risk by around 15%. By exercising even more, you can further diminish your risk for cancer. Moderate exercise is another thing that greatly reduces risks of cancer too.

If you are walking on a treadmill for exercise, try not to hold onto the rails. You can touch them for balance but you should not have to hold on when walking or running. If you do have to hold on, you may want to consider lowering the intensity level as it may be too much.

A great fitness tip is to start doing chin-ups. Chin-ups are one of the best exercises you can do because they target more than one muscle group. They are great for building up your lat muscles, biceps, forearms, and even your abdominal muscles. They are very effective just by using your body weight.

If you are a runner, log the mileage on your running shoes. Shoes get worn out and when they do they can cause pain and injuries if they are still used. A good rule is to replace your running shoes every five hundred miles, even if they feel like they still have some miles in them.

Hard work and variety in your fitness routine helps you to be more effective in increasing your fitness level. Use the ideas in this article to keep you going so that you don’t get stuck in a rut. The more information that you have, the easier it will be for you to stick to your plan.