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Aerobic Activity | Baseball | Chi Kung | Cross-Country Skiing | Cycling | Gardening | Golf | Running | Swimming | Tai Chi | Walking | Weight Training | Yoga

Why do you want to get in better shape? Why do you want to become fit? What are your short term and long term goals? First, decide why you are attempting a workout plan. Some people start a program because they are overweight or because they want to look better. Make sure that you are doing it for yourself. If you are committed to your goals, you are more likely to accomplish them. Keep a logbook to track your training and nutrition progress. Write down what you eat, drink, and the total number of calories consumed per day. Your training log should have entries for the exercise performed, the sets and reps. Make noted to yourself how you felt that day. Did you stretch out after the workout? Did you increase the amount of weight used? Writing everything down will help you stay in the right direction in obtaining your goals.

Before you begin you weight routine, make sure you have taken five to ten minutes to warm up. You can do some light aerobic exercise before you workout, like walking. Warming up makes your muscles more limber and less susceptible to injury. It is also beneficial to do a warm-up set for each exercise, by performing 8-10 repetitions with a lighter weight. Make sure the movement of the exercise is in a slow and controlled manor. Breath during the exercise. Holding your breath can make your blood pressure rise and can lead to dizziness.

A person lifting weights can use either free weights or machines. They both have advantages and disadvantages. Machines are great for the beginner. Not only are they easy to use, but the machines guide the body through a certain range of motion. A person does not need to worry about coordination or balancing the weight. Free weights works muscles in a way that matches real life. They allow you to strengthen muscles and tendons that would not get much work when using machines.

It is important to use proper form when performing each exercise. If you are using the momentum of your body to lift a weight, then you are using poor form. Not only can you hurt yourself by doing this, your muscles will not get the full benefit from the exercise.

When working out, it is best to train larger muscles first and smaller muscles last. Training large muscle groups, like the quads, back and chest, will take more energy. It is best to train them when you are at your strongest.

The number of repetitions that you do depends upon what you are trying to accomplish. For general health, muscle tone and endurance, start off doing 8 to 15 repetitions. If you are just beginning a weight training program, start out with light weights and work yourself up to heavier weights when you are safely able to. Take 60-90 seconds to rest between exercises if you are performing more than one set. If you have been doing the same exercise routine for a while, make sure to change the exercises and weights to prevent hitting a plateau.

After completing a workout, take 48 to 72 hours to allow your muscles time to recuperate. If they do not have rest, they are less likely to grow. Getting plenty of sleep will help your muscles recover from vigorous exercise and help prevent overtraining. Stretching after your workout helps prevent blood pooling in the muscles and keeps the body flexible and relaxed.

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DISCLAIMER: **This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.