When it comes to our overall fitness, most of us are not in the shape we want to be. As we grow older and start working, exercise takes a back seat to other important aspects of our lives. However, no matter how busy you are, it is important that you make some time to maintain and/or improve your fitness. If you are someone who wants to get back in shape, you've come to the right place. In the article below, you will learn a few key tips that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
#1 - Don't Overdo It
While not exercising at all is not good for you, exercising too much can be just as harmful. Often times when people start working out, they are extremely motivated. This may cause them to workout their body's too hard. In order to make fitness gains, you have to let your muscles rest after each workout. As a general rule, you should wait a minimum of 48 hours before working out a particular muscle group. This means that if you work on your leg muscles on day, you should give yourself at least the next day to rest before working your leg muscles again.
#2 - Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!
The importance of stretching cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that increased flexibility has proven to help promote more muscle growth and better overall fitness. Now most of you who exercise regularly probably stretch as a warm up before you begin your workout. However, stretching your muscles AFTER you workout is when you will actually gain the most benefits. Stretching while you cool down, when your muscle are already loose allows you to make the most flexibility gains.
#3 - Don't Workout Too Long
Ever see those people that just seem to live in the gym? They spend hours and hours on their workouts. While their dedication is to be commended, they actually are not being very efficient with their workout at all. Studies have shown that workouts that last longer than an hour cause the body to produce cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that blocks testosterone production and causes stress. This means that you are actually making very little gains even though your workout will seem harder to you. Make sure to keep all strength based workouts under one hour.
#4 - Always Lift With Dumbbells First
When ever you are working your upper body with free weights, it is important that you start your workouts with dumbbells and then move on to barbell exercises. The reason is quite simply. Dumbbells require more balance and stabilization on your part so it is best to use them when you have all your strength. Barbells require much less stabilization and machines don't need any stabilization at all so make sure to use this order.
With the tips mentioned above, you should now be able to workout effectively and efficiently. Make sure to use what you have learned and you are sure to reach your goals in no time.