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Top 10 Exercise TipsWe get it. There’s a ton of information about exercise – some of it good, and some of it not-so-good. With all the catchy headlines, it can be tough to know how to exercise most effectively.

So here is a valuable list of the top 10 exercise tips, whether you’re a beginner or a diehard gym rate, a senior or an athlete. These recommendations apply universally for anyone looking to get more fit and stay fit. Note what they don’t include – quick fixes, unrealistic regimens or false promises.

  1. Schedule workouts – No one ever finds “free time” to fit in exercise, so schedule workouts in your calendar each week or month, and don’t let anything encroach on that time. If something comes up, then move your workout time that day if possible, or to another day if necessary. Don’t simply skip it.
  2. Find something you like – Don’t run if you hate it, or workouts become unpleasant and difficult to adhere to. Try different machines, classes and activities to find what you enjoy and what your body can tolerate. Exercise isn’t necessarily comfortable, but it shouldn’t be a major drag either.
  3. Balance workouts – Try to include cardio, strength training and flexibility work regularly for comprehensive fitness and all of its benefits. That doesn’t mean workouts have to be extra-long or incorporate each modality every time. Just be sure that you’re getting some of each weekly.
  4. Cross train – While it’s important to discover some favorite exercise routines, don’t do the same thing every day. Over time, your body adapts to your workouts and progress slows. With different challenges from cross training, you’re more likely to get better results. It doesn’t have to be complicated – you can run one day, lift weights another and do the elliptical or yoga the next.
  5. Interval train – Incorporating intervals, where you increase intensity for a short period, recover and then repeat this cycle, is a great way to burn calories and improve conditioning. It boosts metabolism and builds stamina, but shouldn’t be done at every workout. Try it once or twice a week to drive results.
  6. Try something new – We all have our comfort zones, but we also can lose motivation or get bored with the same routine week after week. Periodically take on a different form of exercise or a new activity to stay fresh. Take tennis lessons, join a running club or learn pickle ball, for instance. Try a new exercise class or hire a trainer with some friends to vary workouts.
  7. Use a heart rate monitor – This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but these gadgets are relatively inexpensive now and provide instant information about your intensity level, enabling you to kick up the resistance/pace as necessary to hit target zones. Heart rate monitors add value to interval training by enabling you to aim for specific heart rates for customized challenges designed to improve fitness.
  8. Move more – In addition to your workouts, add more activity into your day. Stand up and pace when on the phone, walk the dog, play at the park with the kids, take the stairs, stretch when watching TV, ride your bike for errands and more.
  9. Listen to your body – Workouts should be uncomfortable, but don’t ignore sharp or chronic pain. See your doctor when necessary to treat injuries before they turn into something more serious.
  10. Attitude is everything – Exercise is a privilege that helps us get and stay fit and healthy. Change “I have to work out” into “I get to work out” and be grateful for all your body can accomplish!

These tips above are great to use for the next time you work out! Stay Fueled.