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5 Simple Exercise Tips — an article on the Smart Living Network
August 26, 2010 at 8:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

5 Simple Exercise Tips


Whether it is spent at work, with your family, or exercising, you want to be sure that you are making the most of your time. Just as with the other areas of your daily schedule, exercise needs to be as efficient as possible to ensure that time is not being wasted. These are some of the best ways to maximize your next workout and its benefits.

#1 Target Your Goals

It is virtually impossible to hit a target without identifying it. All of your exercise routines should be designed with a specific goal in mind, and have the purpose of bringing you closer to that goal. Are you trying to lose weight, build muscle, or stay toned? Whatever the mission is, plan your workouts accordingly, and focus on it with each exercise. By aiming for your target, you are much more likely to hit it.

#2 Stretch Before Exercising

Too many people neglect stretching as part of their workout, which is a dangerous mistake. By warming up your joints and relaxing your muscles, you will enable them to absorb the exercises more efficiently. In addition to leading to better results, this keeps you safe from needless injuries. When an injury does occur because your body was not properly prepared, it will cause a delay that takes you further away from your goals. Stretching takes less than five minutes and is a valuable part of the beginning and end of any workout.

#3 Compete Against Yourself

Exercising can be competitive, and you might draw inspiration from people around you. However, try not to get caught up in doing certain exercises because someone else is doing them, unless they will work toward the specific things you want to achieve. It is much better to include the best exercises for your own needs in your workout. Do not compare the amount of weight or number of repetitions you are performing with another person's capacity. The same can be said in walking, jogging, or running, where it is not helpful to compete with someone else's distance or time. One basic rule to remember is that you are the only person that you should ever be competing with.

#4 Ban Stress from Your Workouts

Distractions will slow your exercise efforts down faster than anything else. How you approach your workout mentally is just as important, if not more important, than the way you view it physically. Use the time you exercise as a chance to get rid of the stress in your life in a healthy, productive way. Allowing that stress to cause a loss of concentration is limiting to the effects of any exercise. Instead, look forward to your workout as the part of your day where you can block out everything else and just focus on what is best for you.

#5 Stay in Control

It can be tempting to use higher weights to reach your numerical goals more quickly, but this often does more harm than good. If the weight is too much, you will be sacrificing form as well as results. The preferred method is to use weight that you can handle. Shift your attention to how you are performing each repetition, and away from the numbers on the weights. Every movement should be deliberate and controlled, so be conscious of any swinging or speeding up. Both have the potential to cause injuries and significantly reduce the effectiveness of that exercise.


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