By   February 22, 2011

Fitness should an important part of anyone’s life. It does wonders for your body, keeping it fit and healthy, and giving you more energy. Yet many people find it difficult to exercise regularly in their hectic schedule. This article includes helpful, easy tips for you to learn how to exercise efficiently in a small amount of time.

If you’re lucky enough to live near your local grocery store, an easy way to get a workout is to walk to the store on your day off instead of taking your car. Grab a basket once you’re inside– getting a cart will make it easy to choose more items than you can easily carry. You can always make multiple trips, or bring the family so everyone can grab a few bags.

Motivation is often a problem when people exercise, especially if you exercise alone. Find an audio version of a book that you really want to read and listen to it only when you exercise. Wanting to find out what happens next will motivate you to work out longer and more often.

Walking is a great exercise. When walking bend your elbows and it will help your arms to swing faster, causing your legs to move faster. Walk at a comfortable stride. Adding in intervals, where you alternate walking fast and then slow will help you burn more calories during your walk.

If you have a gym membership, use every piece of equipment offered. Try not to use just one or two different exercise machines. Using a variety of machines will not only prove more fun, but you’ll effectively work more parts of your body. Try to learn to use at least a dozen different machines in your gym.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether or not your training program is too strenuous for your cardiovascular system. Prior to starting or intensifying a workout program, measure and document your heart rate immediately upon waking. This should be done for at least five days leading up to the change. After you have started or intensified your program, continue to take measurements on the days after your workout. An increase of more than 10 beats per minute indicates that your body may not be recovering from the change as efficiently as it should be.

You can make your legs much stronger by performing your standard leg crunches in reverse. This causes whichever leg you have in the front to get a great full muscle workout. These crunches are almost exactly like the standard leg crunches, except you are not stepping forward, you are stepping backward.

Having a schedule for your day is important if you want to find time to exercise. By scheduling time for meals you will be less likely to choose unhealthy snacks or fast food. By planning your day in the morning, you can find time to exercise and bring healthy meals with you when you leave your home.

Focus on different body parts for dip workouts. To exercise your arms, keep your elbows tucked tightly in to your body. To exercise your chest, lean forward and push your elbows away from you. Using both methods can give you a varied exercise session in a short amount of time.

Sleep with your legs off the bed. If you run and need to increase the flexibility of your calf muscles, try sleeping on your stomach with your legs off the mattress. This may be uncomfortable at first, but gravity takes over and will lightly stretch your muscles for you all night.

Motivate yourself in your own fitness goals by motivating others. You can have a huge impact on your own well being when you encourage someone else. It does not matter if it is a friend, or family member, you chose to build up. Improvement will breed improvement and you will both win.

Make sure that you get the energy that you need before you go and work out. This may come in the form of a hearty meal or a candy bar that has a decent amount of sugar. Try to exercise when you are feeling strong, to help extend the length of your workout.

If you suffer from frequently jammed fingers, it is important that you tape the jammed finger to a finger next to it when exercising. When you have your fingers taped together this way, you are less likely to bend your fingers. Also, the two fingers you have taped together will be stronger.

Once you are well-embarked into your fitness routine, tailor your stretching to your personal needs. Muscles that loosen up quickly and easily do not need much attention. Concentrate more on the muscles that always give you trouble. These muscles need to be stretched more carefully and thoroughly. They deserve the lion’s share of your stretching attention.

Setting your alarm a little early to make time for a fifteen-minute walk, can get you ready for a more ambitious early-morning exercise routine. Many people will tell you that first thing in the morning is the best time for working out. This can be tough for a non-morning person. A brief, brisk walk will accustom you to early morning exertions and prepare you for more ambitious fitness activities.

While fitness should push our bodies, it is important though that you not push yourself too hard. By trying to exceed your body’s capabilities, you are not doing yourself any favors; in fact, you may be causing yourself injury. For instance, when stretching, you should push yourself enough that you feel tension in the muscle, but not so far that you feel pain.

When lifting weights, you should start with dumbbells, then barbells, then machines in that exact order. The reason for this is that dumbbells require the most stabilization and fatigue smaller muscles faster so you should have all your strength when using them. Machines don’t require any stabilization and barbells are in between the two.

Although this article might make it sound easy, the most important part is effort and perseverence. Working out can be fun and easy, but it also requires persistent effort to achieve any results. So, turn off the TV and get off the couch, go to the gym, and start exercising.