By   February 10, 2011

Many people don’t realize just how important fitness is to their life. Fitness is more than just losing weight; it’s committing to being the healthiest and happiest you that you can be. Here are some great ways to get fit and to propel you toward optimum levels of personal fitness.

If the place you need to go to is within walking distance, walk there. If you live in an area where being on the road without a car is safe, do so. Walk to the store rather than driving there. If you own a bike, ride your bike there.

To get the most out of your cardio workout, try interval training. Go as fast as you can for two minutes, and then rest for a minute. By moving your heart rate up and down like this, your workout is maximized, which means those calories are getting burned quicker than ever.

Work out your abs without doing crunches. That’s right, all you have to do is to take a deep breath and on the exhale, simply squeeze your belly to your spine and hold it for about 10 seconds. You’ll be working your transversus abdominis muscle, which lays behind more prominent abdominal muscles but can flatten your stomach noticeably.

When you are training hard to reach your fitness goals you should remember to care for your body. One overlooked area of the body, that is commonly injured, is the neck. A simple way to save your precious vertebrae is to push your tongue against the roof of your mouth. You will automatically hold your head properly and avoid injury.

Even the most seasoned runner encounters muscle soreness in their calves upon waking in the morning. Try this: sleep on your stomach and allow your feet to hang over the side of your bed. Overnight, the effects of gravity will lightly stretch your muscles, making them noticeably less sore when you wake up the next morning.

Plan ahead for your workout routine. For example, if you exercise in the morning, set out your clothes before you go to bed. If you go to the gym in the afternoon, pack your bag in the morning. This way, when it’s time to exercise you’re ready to go and have no time to make excuses.

When exercising in sets, make sure to take some time out to stretch in between them. Try to stretch a good 20 to 30 seconds between each stretch. This can not only keep the muscles you just worked limber, but it can help increase overall strength by maximizing the benefits of each set.

To improve your scores on your golf putting, try aiming higher on your breaks. Try estimating what the scores of your breaks are and double those numbers because it will help get you more accurate numbers that you can use to improve them. Knowing these numbers will help you to better them and reach your goals.

You should count your repetitions backward when you are working out. When you count backward, you begin to think about how many you have left once you start getting to the end of the set. You will not be thinking about how many repetitions you have done, which can be hurt your motivation to finish.

You should stop using a weight belt when performing most lifting exercises. Over time, a weight belt will weaken your abs and lower-back muscles. The only times that you should wear a weight belt is when you perform large lifts, such as squats, deadlifts and overhead presses.

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.

Do not forget about the muscles you can’t see! Some of the abdominal muscles do not usually get a workout, because they are hidden. To fix this, tightly suck your tummy in and hold it for as long as you can, several times a day. This will help to give you a flatter stomach.

If you are trying to lose some of your gut, stick with aerobic exercise, not crunches or sit-ups. Crunches are not too helpful when it comes to losing that spare tire. In fact, studies have shown that to burn just one pound of fat with crunches, you’d need to do two-hundred and fifty thousand of them! If you did one hundred crunches daily, you’d have that pound burned in seven years. Look elsewhere to trim the fat.

Always stretch before doing exercise. If you are over the age of 40, then you should hold your stretches for 60 seconds each, as opposed to thirty seconds. This is because your muscles are not as pliable after you reach 40, so they should be stretched a little more.

A great way to build up the muscles in your legs is to perform squats. Squats can be an essential part of any work out, but they have to be performed correctly. If they are not performed correctly, you might end up injuring yourself and not getting the best workout.

A great fitness tip is to post pictures of yourself on online forums to get a critique of your physique. Getting a critique of your physique from other people can help you see where your weak areas are. It’s easier for a stranger to look at your body objectively.

Fitness should be a priority at any age and it’s important for senior citizens to stay in shape, too. Swimming is great for older people because it’s low impact and easy on their joints. Water aerobics are a good alternative to swimming laps. Golfing is another way for senior citizens to get out and moving around.

Getting fit takes some time; it doesn’t happen overnight. But working out a fitness routine and committing to your own success can help. Use these tips to help you do that and decide to work on your fitness no matter what. Be healthy by being fit and be happier as well.