Fitness Tips

Read these 27 Fitness Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Exercise tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Why is there a need to exercise?

Why Exercise?

Physical activity is necessary for good health, and most people do not get enough in their everyday lives. Besides helping with weight control, exercise strengthens your heart, improves circulation, helps prevent many illnesses, and makes it easier to do everyday activities. If you are very active in your job, hobbies, and/or household and garden chores, and walk or bike often instead of riding in a car all the time, you may not have to do formal exercise to maintain health, but most people are not that active.


Exercise Your Brain

Here is an awesome statistic - People that get into a 'routine' are more likely to get diseases like Lou Gehrig's disease, Dementia, or other problems that affect brain function to the body. By 'routine', I mean your literal daily routine and the muscles you use in that routine. For example, when you wake up, what is the first foot you put on the ground? How about when you walk into the bathroom, do you always turn the same direction? Do you use the same hand to grab the doorknob to get into the bathroom? When you open the shower door, do you use the same arm everyday? Which foot is first to step into the shower? Which hand do you wash your body with, and what side of your body do you star on? Which foot is first to step out of the shower? Do you dry off your arms first? Which hand do you brush your teeth with?

At the moment, you are probably thinking "Who the heck thinks about this stuff?". I do. Why? Because I want to have stellar utilization of my brains ability to send innervative signals to the muscles in my body to activate when necessary and prevent mental problems down the road. The point of all those questions is for you to consider how much you are really using your brain. When you go through the same morning routine (for example), your brain is not really functioning much because it is so 'routine'. You know that you don't really think about how to brush your teeth - you just brush them. By forcing yourself to use your left hand to brush your teeth (if you normally use your right), guess where the signal comes from for your left arm to do that? Yup, your brain. You will feel moronic at first, but after several times your brain will be sending the proper signals to your arm on how to utilize your arm to perform the motions to brush your teeth with ease.

The more you train your brain to innervate muscles that you don't normally use (maybe like reading holding the book in your left hand rather than your right) in a normal day, the more prepared your body will be to respond to random events/stimulus. You will also be training your brain and lessening the chance of the illnesses that come from your brains inability to function properly.

What are some exercises I can do at home?

Home Exercises

There are a number of exercises you can do at home. There are body weight exercises like pushups, pullups, crunches, squats, and lunges. You can get some dumbbells, or if you don't want to do that, elastic exercise bands are inexpensive and easy to use. They also take up very little space, folding up to the size of a paperback book. For cardio exercise, you can jump rope, or get an exercise video. You can have a good home exercise program with an exercise video and some elastic exercise bands.

Is it better to run or walk if you're attempting to lose weight fast?

Walking or Running to Burn Fat

You can burn fat and calories by either walking or running. In general, how much depends on how far you go, and running the same distance takes less time than walking. Still, if you prefer to walk, do that and just go for a longer time. To get much weight loss, you should walk or run at least three miles most days. You can get better results by combining your exercise with a little calorie reduction. Cutting out some junk food like a soda or doughnut every day works great, and the cardio exercise is especially good for burning fat in the stomach area. You don't have to do your walking all at once. You can do 20 minutes or so twice a day if you want.


What is Fitness?

I just checked with, and they say 'Fitness' is 'health', as well as the ' capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.' Alright, good to know.

If you want to be 'fit' or 'healthy', you need to make sure that you are exercising! Now many of you may not know how. No worries, that's what all these tips are designed for. But I want to focus on the second answer of what fitness is, being the capability of distributing oxygen.

Many of us perform cardio-respiratory exercise, but is that enough? Nope. Your muscles need to be stressed as well, and as you also work with weights and your body weight in the gym or at home or in a park, you are also working on your bodies' ability to transport oxygen when needed (during physical exercise).

As a beginner, understand that you need to push yourself every time you exercise, to the point where you are sweating afterwards. This needs to occur minimum 4 times a week to really get into good shape.

For you veteran exercisee's, are you really pushing yourself anymore? Have you been doing the same exercises for years? Find news ways to push yourself (that's whay i've put up the videos), so that you can continue to excel with your physical fitness.

Make sure you are looking at older tips too, because there is lots of wonderful information in there (not just from me, but from others before me).

I am looking for information on how much activity is required to burn off the calories in certain foods. Is there a place to find that?

Burning Off the Calories You Eat

It is difficult to calculate how much activity it takes to burn off calories from a certain food, for example, how far you would have to walk to burn off a Big Mac. Although you see such calculations frequently, they are approximations. Calories burned in activity depend on the size of the individual as well as the intensity of the activity, and the calories in food depend on how much of it you eat, and sometimes even the preparation. It's better to consider overall calorie consumption and activity level plus exercise. Still, it can be fun to try to figure out the food and exercise caloric relationship. The U.S. government has a huge database of nutrients in foods, including calories. See it at Georgia State University has posted a list of calories expended in certain activities: www2.gsu/edu/~wwwfit/physicalactivity.html#calories.

What does exercise have to do with stress?

Fitness and Stress

Stressed? Go work out. A fitness program helps take your mind off the car payments, the boss, the kids, and in some cases the fate of the free world. People with high levels of health and fitness who experience high stress have less sickness than fitness-challenged people with similar stress levels.

I dont wan't to convert fat to muscle - I just want to lose the fat. What's the best regime?

Fat to Muscle

It is a common fallacy that working out with weights will cause your fat to turn to muscle. Muscle and fat are two different kinds of tissue. When you do weight training, you will build up muscle, but that muscle will take the place of fat that you lose. When you first start a weight loss diet program, you may want to concentrate on cardio exercise, along with your healthy eating, and add weight training later. If you prefer, you can start weight training right away, but don't neglect the cardio.

How can I make my bones stronger without going to a gym?

Jump for Your Bones

Just jumping 30 times a day will make your bones stronger and improve your health and fitness. But don't do it cold. Warm up until you break a light sweat. You just have to jump up and down, not off of anything. It's the impact that stimulates your bones. You need two things: a soft surface to land on and your doctor's ok.

How can I lose weight and reduce my cholesterol?

Weight Loss for Cardiac Health

Obesity puts a strain on your heart. Exercise and fitness improve your heart health and constitute weight loss support, but some dietary adjustment is usually also called for if you want to lose weight. To lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol, cut back on calories from saturated fat, eat more fiber, and stock up on fruit and veggies.

Are vacations good for you?

Take Vacations

Airport lines, security screenings, delays all pale in comparison to a shortened lifespan. Pack some fitness equipment in your carry-on and exercise (just use plastic so you don't set off the metal detector.) Or take a drive in the country to a B&B where you can hike for fitness.

It's been shown that men who take more vacations live longer and have better health than those who never get away. Take an active vacation, such as skiing, hiking, snorkling, or walking all around a city that is new to you, and you'll get even more benefit.

I’ve heard that there’s a campaign to get children active for an hour a day, what is this campaign?

Children Fit in 60 Minutes

Keep your kids healthy with fitness! Unfortunately, kids are leading an increasingly sedentary lifestyle surrounded by junk food (even in schools). The USDA and the Centers for Disease Control promote youth fitness and health through several programs such as VERB, Powerful Bones for Powerful Girls, BAM!, Body and Mind, and Kids Walk-to-School. No matter what the youth fitness program, the USDA and CDC recommend 60 minutes per day of physical fitness activity for children and adolescents.

It's important to note that kids don't have to go a full hour straight. A fitness routine for your preteen or teen could include a run in the morning, a game of Frisbee with friends and the dog in the afternoon, and shooting hoops at night. Just make sure your child or teen enjoys some muscle exercise and some cardio, and burns some calories. It's one of the best, most lasting gifts you'll ever give your children.

How much exercise is enough?

Ten Thousand Steps

As the old saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. How about 10,000?

An interesting new way to make sure you are getting enough exercise to improve your health and fitness is to count the steps you take during the day. The target is 10,000. You can count them however you figure out (it's a footstrike, so left-right is 2) or use a device called a pedometer. Running or jogging steps count as well as walking, and the device counts steps on the treadmill, StairMaster, elliptical trainer, and pedal revs on the upright but not recumbent bike. Steps taken during sports like tennis or soccer will also count.

You'll probably be surprised at your total, but this is a great health and fitness motivational technique for your fitness workout. 10,000 can help control weight as well as improving cardio fitness, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes risk.

Will quitting smoking help my workouts?

Recovery from Smoking

Exercise can help you quit smoking. And quitting smoking can improve your exercise and sports performance. If you crave a cigarette, go out for a walk or run or bike ride instead, and let the craving pass.
If you can't quit cold turkey, try a fitness break from nicotine. One week of not smoking doesn't allow your lungs to recover from the effects of smoking, but it does improve your muscle fitness and exercise performance. And that may make it easier for you to quit for good.

How can I deal with PMS?


Women with severe premenstural syndrome may have low levels of beta endorphins. A fitness program raises beta endorphin levels, as well as reducing stress, which is also associated with PMS.

Does exercise help high blood pressure?

Controlling Blood Pressure

People with high blood pressure can benefit from aerobic exercise. A 45-minute run or power walk can lower blood pressure for up to 24 hours.

If you can't go as long as 45 minutes, start with what you can do and increase the time gradually. Other aerobic exercise can also help blood pressure as well as overall fitness. Choose what you enjoy. New research shows that strength training also helps control blood pressure.

What’s the best fitness equipment for beginners on a budget?

Beginner Fitness on a Budget

Fitness doesn't have to be expensive. Ultimately, any money you spend on a serious, committed fitness routine will come back to you tenfold in health, fitness benefits, happiness, fewer sick days at work, more energy, and better quality of life. But, if you're you're on a tight budget, never fear.

A fitness exercise band such as the B-Lines Resistance Band is relatively inexpensive, as are hand weights. An exercise ball can also help you achieve fitness without asking you to rip into your savings. And, let us not forget the endless natural terrain that Mother Nature provides for us to run on!

Is gardening really good exercise?

Gardening for Health

Gardening is a great activity that can improve your functional strength and overall fitness and health. It's a good idea to supplement gardening with a fitness program including some aerobic and resistance training for best results. Use sunscreen and be careful not to strain your back. Enjoy those fresh veggies!

Can people with chronic fatigue exercise?

Chronic Fatigue

If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), ask your doctor about graded exercise therapy, which has been shown to improve health and fitness for many people with CFS. This is a specific fitness exercise regimen, so don't just run to a Spinning® class.

Will riding a bicycle to work help me get in shape?

Cycle to Work

It's not just $3.00 a gallon at the pump that makes biking to work attractive.

Try riding a bike to work to improve your health and fitness. It worked for a group of fitness study participants in the Netherlands, after 6 months of commuter cycling. Traveling an average distance of 8.5 km (5-1/4 miles), more than 3 times a week was sufficient for improvement, and 3 km (about 2 mi.) was enough for improvement with those of low initial fitness. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Feb. 2000).

If commuter cycling isn't practical for you, and you enjoy the sport, do a fitness program that includes some bike riding on the weekend or before or after work, along with your other workouts.

What effect does exercise have on the immune system?

Immune Function

For years immune system studies have touted fitness as an immune booster, but that's not the whole story. It works this way. Imagine exercise and immunity on a health and fitness bell curve. Too little exercise and you will not have optimum immune function. Moderate exercise enhances immune function and too much exercise--overtraining-- can suppress immune function, at least temporarily.

What is the safest way to gain muscle weight?

Try Boot Camp

Boot camp exercise is popular with people who like a lot of variety in their workouts. A boot camp can include some running, jumping, stretching, pushups, jumping jacks, change of direction, and lots of other things, done at a quick pace. Typically, it requires little or no equipment. You may be able to find a boot camp class or get an in-home boot camp program like Power 90.


Eventhough it's hot, go outdoors

Exercise is vital (if you hadn't already guessed that). Even on hot days during summer, you need to still challenge yourself and make time for it. If you don't, you won't see the results you're hoping for - so, just be smart about it.

It's 95 degrees here in CA, and there's no way i'm going to workout right now. I'll wait until 5 or 6pm tonight, then go on a bike ride and do some strength training exercises. Of course, wait until it's cooler.

Make sure you get out there and move!

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Can someone with fibromyalgia do exercise?


If you have fibromyalgia, don't fear fitness. Although fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain, a fitness program relieves the symptoms, as well as improving overall health and fitness. For many people with the condition, exercise works better than any other treatment. Start slowly and avoid activities with a lot of impact. Weight training is good, but start with light weights and one set. Increase weight when you can without causing pain.

Are plyometrics and kenpo good extreme fitness routines if I play sports?

Plyometrics and Kenpo

Are you looking for extreme fitness without having to climb a cliff or jump out of a plane? The following two fitness programs can appeal to any adrenaline junkie.

Plyometrics, also known as jump training, has been proven to dramatically improve athletic performance. If your sport involves a ring, rink, field, court, or track, over 30 explosive jumping moves will give you the edge. Although all you need for this extreme fitness routine are running shoes, a plyometrics mat, a chair and a special plyometrics monitor, you'll feel as though you're training for an episode of “Fear Factor.”

The Kenpo muscle fitness routine sounds like Tae Bo, for good reason. Martial arts are extreme fitness, and kenpo (a style of Chinese kung fu), is no exception. This fitness program was created to give P90X users a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination, as well as self-defense.

How does exercise affect diabetes?

Exercise and Diabetes

Fitness helps your blood sugar! If you have a family history of diabetes, or other risk factors, it's time to get moving. A recent study showed women who exercised moderately or vigorously in a fitness program more than four times per week had half the risk of developing diabetes, and even lesser levels of exercise provided some protection. Other research shows exercise helps men avoid diabetes as well.

Can people with heart failure exercise?

Heart Failure and Exercise

Most people with heart failure, a weakened heart muscle, can improve their endurance and activity levels as well as overall health and fitness through an aerobic exercise program. Get clearance and guidance from your doctor before you start. There may be special classes at a medical facility, or a qualified personal trainer can help you get started.

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Nicholas Frank