By   February 13, 2011

Overall fitness isn’t just about cardio. Although cardio is a major component of weight loss and heart health, it is important to incorporate strength training into your fitness regimen. Strength training builds muscle mass and helps you burn more calories post-workout. Follow these strength-training tips to amp up your workout and get a complete workout.

In order to get the most out of a fitness routine, be sure to work on your core. This is your abdominal region, and pretty much everything except for your limbs. It is important, because this region is used to stabilize the rest of your body, and it also is imperative to maintaining a healthy back. Be sure to check with a doctor to find out which core exercises suit you the best.

In order to maximize your fitness potential when lifting weights, be sure to eat plenty of meat. Meat contains plenty of protein and other nutrients that aid in muscle growth. Lean meat is best, while turkey chicken, and fish are good for you as well. The recommended serving is about 6 ounces a day.

Training for a marathon can be no easy feat. Try setting small goals to achieve each week that eventually lead up to being able to run or walk a 5k marathon. For some, walking that distance takes little effort, but for others it can feel like climbing Mount Everest. Take small walks or runs each day and push yourself to make it further and further each week.

A good tip to help you get fit is to invest in a shaker bottle. Shaker bottles are great because they allow you to make a protein shake on the fly. By bringing one with you to the gym, you’ll always be able to get your proper post-workout nutrition.

Do not rely on a fitness routine that requires extensive equipment. Putting all of one’s faith in equipment-intensive exercise leaves one at the mercy of the equipment. The savvy fitness enthusiast will have a varied exercise program that includes plenty of exercises that can be performed without equipment. These exercises prevent a breakdown of one’s overall fitness strategy when equipment is temporarily unavailable.

Never underestimate the power of water to help you reach your fitness goals. water is essential for life but is absolutely crucial to any fitness routine. You should drink water before, after, and during you entire routine, no matter what it be. Dehydration will derail your train of progress quickly.

If you hate all the fitness exercises or you find them very boring, but you have a passion for dancing, you can use it to improve your personal fitness. Easy dance movements performed with music and matched to your personal taste and capabilities can be used to reach your fitness goals.

Flex your arms when doing arm curls for maximum benefits. Start by doing a standard arm curl, but make sure your arm is completely straight. Do this by flexing your triceps at the end of your repetitions. This helps work out your arm muscles by using their entire ranges of motion.

If you are going to use a bench, you should always test it first. If the bench is too hard, it may cause a misalignment in your spine that can weaken your arm. Test the bench by pushing a thumb into the padding. If you can feel the wood underneath the padding, find a better bench to use.

Keep your workout machines and dumbbells in order. Use the smaller weights first and work your way up to the larger weight like barbells and bench presses, and then eventually work your way up to a machine. The smaller weights uses more of your muscle and you get fatigued easier.

If you aim to sharpen your skills at basketball, you should try wearing leather or canvas work gloves while dribbling in order to improve your dribbling skills. This is because the thickness of these gloves improves the sensitively of the fingertips. When you take the gloves off, your ball control will have improved.

A great tip to help you get physically fit is to start playing racquetball. Playing racquetball can burn a lot of calories because you constantly have to run back and forth to hit the ball. Try to find a racquetball club near you that offers a fair amount of courts.

If you feel a little beat up after exercise, you may be tempted to pop an ibuprofen or acetaminophen pill. Don’t do it. Studies have shown that these pills are about as effective as a placebo to relieve the pain associated with exercise. Moreover, it’s been shown that the pills can actually slow down the growth of muscles if taken post-exercise.

Have a physical with your doctor before starting a fitness program. This is especially important if you have high blood pressure, smoke, have diabetes or are overweight. The doctor will be able to tell you if there are any kinds of activities that you should avoid in the beginning.

Try downloading a mobile app to your smartphone to keep track of your workouts. These handy apps can give you an accurate report of how long you’ve exercised and how many calories you’ve burned. You can also set them up to compare yourself to people around the work place to see how you rank.

Try yoga on the day that you are resting after a long workout. This will help you to relax all of the muscles in your body, so that you are prepared for the next time you go to the gym. Yoga and meditation are great things to do on your off day.

A great tip to build better abs is to make sure you don’t work them out every single day. Your abs are like any other muscle in your body and can break down if worked too much so be sure and only incorporate them in your workout two to three times a week.

Obviously, there are many options when it comes to working strength moves into your fitness routine. Keep doing your cardio, but additionally, choose any number of the tips mentioned to keep your muscles strong and prevent injury. Not only will you increase your calorie burn, but you’ll have awesome muscle definition to boot.