In today's world, it seems everyone has their own idea about what fitness means. Naturally, they usually have even fiercer opinions about how exactly you can achieve that ideal level of fitness. Should you be doing HIIT? Do you have to exercise every day? Just how huge of a role do variables like diet and sleep play in your journey to your best self?
If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the noise, you've come to the right place. We combed through all the theories so you don't have to, and we present it here in easy-to-digest bites.
Arm yourself with knowledge by reading through our list of over 100 quality fitness tips.
Best fitness tips
- Need a great fitness tip? Trade your steady cardio for interval training. It burns more calories and can keep your body burning long after the workout ends.
- Top tip! Brace your core before every exercise. Your core is essential for stabilizing your body, protecting your spine from injury and keeping you upright.
- One of the best fitness tips… trade the machine exercises for free weights. It will allow you to build strength in ways more specific to your body, as well as working the stabilizer muscles.
- Tuck your shoulder blades down and back before an exercise, to improve your results and protect from injury.
- Top fitness tip! Increase your range of motion during exercises. Squat deeper, raise the step, elevate your foot during lunges. You’ll get more from each move and your body will thank you.
- Explode through every rep! During the concentric portion, where you push, pull, press or jump, move the weight as quickly as possible. This will activate your fast-twitch muscle fibres, which will make your body more athletic and train it to use more fat as fuel.
- Looking for a fitness tip to revamp your workouts? Perform exercises that work multiple muscles and joints. It’s much more efficient and effective, and you’ll get more done in less time.
- Here is a handy fitness tip…mix your grip to do more reps. You’ll be able to do more and therefore will see better results, faster!
- Push-ups are one of the world’s greatest exercises, and doing it with proper perform will get your body strong in no time. Try to always include them in your workouts.
- Lift, then run. If you perform your strength training before your cardio work, you will burn more fat while you pound the pavement!
Fitness tips for beginners
- Are you new to your fitness lifestyle? Here’s a great tip…don’t stretch; warm up! An active warmup gets your body ready for exercise by increasing your heart rate, firing up your nervous system and getting your muscles used to moving.
- Keep a record of the exercises you do, including the distance, time, reps and weight. You’ll be able to see your progress and you’ll be more driven to keep going.
- If you’re new to fitness, you may not be aware that you can reduce sore muscles with active recovery. Go for a walk, perform some foam rolling, or do a few simple rounds of calisthenics the day after a tough workout.
- Starting out on a fitness journey? Aim to workout at least three times a week, and remain active every day.
- Struggling to fit fitness into your routine? Find a time that works for you, so that you can stick to and do it consistently. There is no best time for everyone, but there is a best time for you.
- Not sure what weights to lift? Always life the heaviest weight that will allow you to complete not only all of your sets of a given exercise, but the entire workout.
- Strength training or cardio? Try to choose workout programs that combine both! That way you’ll see the most results.
- Don’t worry about monitoring your heart rate if you’re a beginner to fitness and exercise. Just go as hard as you can, recover, and repeat.
- Find a fitness program that works for you, or you will never stick to you. You need to be having fun and seeing results to have the motivation to keep going.
- Try to stay loose when working out. Beginners are particularly prone to tensing up. Relax the muscles you’re not working, and focus on the ones you are. You’ll have more energy and get better results.
Fitness tips for women
- Remember ladies! Packing more weight on the bar won’t make you bulky. It will make you stronger and protect you from osteoporosis by increasing bone density. Load on!
- Not sure what to focus on in your workout? Remember the three variables: weights, intensity and volume. Keep your body guessing and focus on one variable per workout.
- If you’re not quite ready for the pullup, do plank pulls instead. Lie with your chest under a weight bar and pull your chest toward the bar.
- A rowing machine is a great exercise to get blood flowing to all the muscles and joints in your body. Spend 10 minutes before you strength train for a great full body workout.
- Listen up ladies! If motivation is your hang-up, change your exercise routine every 14 days. You’ll enjoy the variety and avoid boredom setting in.
- Want a strong backside? Try and complete 100 kettlebell swings nonstop with a moderate weight at the end of a legs workout.
- Great tip for women! Blast fat with a circuit that includes strength training and cardio: Do a set of push-ups, jump rope for a minute, do a set of squats, jump rope again, etc. Build muscle while keeping your heart rate high!
- When you do high-intensity interval training (and if you’re not, you should be!), follow a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio, such as sprinting one minute followed by 30 seconds of recovery. You’ll maximize your workout results this way!
- Always, always, always, focus on form! It does not matter how many push ups you can do in a minute if you are not doing a single one correctly. Choose quality over quantity, and you can stay injury-free.
- Take your fitness journey one day at a time, ladies! Long-term goals are important, but can make you feel overwhelmed at times. Make sure you focus on small everyday victories, stay focused on the present, and your future will be successful.
Fitness tips for men
- Get explosive to add more strength! Incorporate bench press throws and box jumps into your workouts, and you’ll see your strength significantly increase.
- Want to be fit and healthy? Ideally you should aim for a 30-minute cardio workout 5 times a week. Don’t forget to add in weight training 2 times a week.
- First things first: bin the scales because weight isn’t a particularly accurate indicator of body fat. So forget the pounds and measure your progress by inches instead.
- If quick results are your aim, perform exercises that focus on explosive strength. They boost your resting metabolic rate – the speed at which your body burns calories when at rest – by nearly 20 per cent, even the day after your workout.
- Boost your lactate threshold by mixing fast-paced runs into your regular endurance work: jog over a mid-distance of say 5-8K, intermittently bursting into fast runs then easing off as it starts to burn. This is known as a fartlek run.
- Intensity is key when it comes to boosting your lung power, so either finish your endurance runs with some intermittent hill sprints or set aside separate days for intense interval workouts involving skipping or bursts of intensive cycling.
- Men are generally less flexible than women, so it is more important than ever to stretch your muscles regularly. It will help you move more efficiently and help you stay injury-free. Try a yoga or Pilates class to help you improve your flexibility!
- Many men fall into the trap of thinking that in order to be better and achieve more they have to perform all of their exercises at a super-fast pace. Not true! When lifting slowly, you increase the amount of time your muscles are tense, which develops and increases your muscle mass.
- Men tend to like sticking to what they’re used to. If this sounds like you, you need to explore new ways to get fit. Try different types of fitness activities to work different parts of your body, which in so doing, you improve your core strength, your flexibility, and your balance.
- Listen, gentlemen! A fitness tip you have to put into action is to properly rest and recover between sessions. Doing back-to-back sessions will lead to you suffering burn-out, losing motivation and generally doing more harm than good.
Fitness tips for weight loss
- Looking to lose weight? Drink more water! Because water is involved in many metabolic processes in your body, being dehydrated has the potential to slow your metabolism down, which can hamper weight loss.
- Adding more activity to your daily routine – walking to work or using the stairs – is a sure fire way to aid weight loss.
- Lifting weights and other resistance exercises will prevent you losing muscle mass and speed up your metabolism fast.
- Do more squats! They are such a great functional move, that improves core strength and posture, and because they involve so many different muscle groups, they are a fantastic exercise for burning fat too.
- Trying to lose weight? Your workouts should include compound movements, such as lunges, deadlifts and rows, because they work multiple muscles at once, so they require the most effort from your body and burn more calories.
- Just starting your weight loss journey? Don’t start out exercising too hard. Working out too intensely at first can increase your appetite and reduce your energy, so finding a balance is key.
- To lose weight, do your strength training workout with short rests between sets and exercises, as this will increase the aerobic benefits and burn more calories.
- Do one or two high-intensity cardio days, such as running, cycling, or running. Start with steady-state sessions, and then play with intervals of exertion and recovery, which are higher intensity and have more calorie burning benefits.
- To boost weight loss, do workouts that combine strength and cardio. For example, do a circuit of a 400m run + 10 push-ups + 10 overhead squats, and repeat that as many times as possible.
- You need to get to your edge to evolve, get fitter, and drop the weight. With cardio, you want to feel like you can’t get enough air in and can’t talk. This is a sign you’re at your limit and your body will adapt to improve its cardiovascular capacity… and will burn more calories!
Health and fitness tips
- Mix up your exercise! Variety is the spice of life, and many sports and activities support each other in ways you won’t realize until you try it. For example, strength training for your legs and core will make you a better runner, while those addicted to dumbbells will find Pilates works muscles they’d never even considered.
- If you invest in a fitness tracker, do not just sit back, and assume that following the pre-set targets will lead you to glory. Adjust the steps, active minutes and calorie targets regularly to build on your progress, or make them more realistic if you never get close and have started to ignore them.
- Add in short bursts of activity. Any activity is good activity, and will only encourage you to do more. Take the stairs not the escalator, or get off the bus a stop early and walk.
- Value your rest days. When you start on a fitness kick, it’s tempting to exercise every day while motivation is high. This is a bad move, and one that will see your enthusiasm burn out within weeks, because you’re always knackered and won’t see the massive improvements you expect.
- Take your niggles seriously! Nothing derails a health kick as quickly as injury, and many serious knocks will start out as mild niggles you think it’s OK to push through. Easing back for a few days is better than being laid up for a few months.
- The first time you try an exercise it’s very hard, but at least quite novel. The second time the novelty is gone, leading to the temptation to quit. Try it at least once more, as the third time is often the charm – when a sport or workout starts to become as enjoyable as it is tough.
- Exercising outdoors is a great way to ensure you get your hit of vitamin D as well as a good workout, and it doesn’t have to be all cardio. As well as the exercise machines that litter many parks, you can nearly always finds a bar or ledge for pull-ups, or a bench or wall to do dips on.
- Exercise at the right time of day for you. Experts may say morning is best, or the evenings, but the truth is, get your workouts in whenever works for you!
- Find a partner or a friend who is at your fitness level and set dates to exercise together. They can offer social and moral support and keep you motivated, and you’re more likely to feel accountable and stick to your exercise routine.
- A light workout after a meal can get your blood flowing and ease digestion. Consider a walk around the block or an easy bike ride. Don’t do anything too intense immediately after eating as it may interrupt digestion and give you cramps.
Fitness training tips
- If you are consistently picking up injuries when running, one change it’s definitely worth trying is to up your rate of strides per minute (your cadence). If you overstrike, thus taking fewer steps, you put extra pressure on your knee and hip joints. Try and take more steps to reduce the impact on your joints.
- Count reps backwards! This is a simple mental trick that might make resistance workouts a little easier. Counting down the reps means by the time it is really hurting, you are at the 3,2,1 stage, which feels close to the end than 8,9,10. Worth a try!
- Vary your activities. One of the best ways to stay interested in fitness is to participate in a mix of activities. Not only does this keep things fresh, but it’s also better for you, too. Our bodies get bored very quickly with the same exercise day after day. After a while, you’ll hit a plateau and results may even reverse themselves if you don’t change it up.
- Don’t work your abdominal exercises every day. Train them only 2 or 3 days a week.
- Keep your weight workouts under an hour. After 60 minutes, your body starts producing more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can have a testosterone -blocking, muscle-wasting effect. Grow muscle, save time.
- Use dumbbells, barbells, and machines — in that order. The smaller, stabilizer muscles you use with dumbbells fatigue before your larger muscle groups. So progress to machines, which require less help from your smaller muscles, as you grow tired.
- Don’t be afraid of sit-ups. We’ve changed our tune on these, and here’s why: Sit-ups increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. Just avoid sit-ups with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.
- Cardio isn’t enough. To build a high level of fitness, you also need to head to the other part of the gym, where the barbells and dumbbells reside. Don’t be afraid of strength training!
- Do functional bodyweight moves to enhance your fitness and make everyday activities like lifting groceries or climbing stairs easier. These moves include push-ups, squats, and lunges.
- Firmly commit and put your mind to getting fit and your body will follow. The true secret to changing your fitness level is shifting your attention away from what you don’t have, and toward what you can achieve.
Daily fitness tips
- To jumpstart your daily fitness routine and pump up your metabolism first thing in the morning start your day off with a nice large glass of water as soon as you wake up.
- Get your morning workout in before you eat your hearty breakfast and you’ll be less likely to feel sick or weighed down during your workout.
- Working out first thing in the morning guarantees that life doesn’t get in the way of working out to reach your daily fitness goals.
- When your mind starts to wander in the middle of your work day or you start to feel the two o’clock slump takeover get up and take a walk. Go outside and get a little bit of fresh air and let the sunlight into your life.
- Scheduling your hardest workouts for after work will ensure that you have a healthy outlet for the stress that built up during the day. Your mental state may even allow for your body to push beyond prior physical boundaries.
- Just keep moving! It really is that simple. The more you move the more muscle fibres you will recruit – this in turn will burn more calories, and the fitter you will become.
- Get moving while watching TV. Rather than slouching on the couch, get down on the floor and have a thorough stretch while watching your favourite shows. This will not only improve your flexibility but will go some way to lift your energy levels.
- You don’t need the gym to engage your abs, periodically throughout the day, pull your belly button into your spine to fire up your abdominal muscles.
- To find your motivation to go workout, focus on how you are going to feel after your workout!
- Including resistance work into your daily fitness routine will help you develop lean muscle tissue which will not only make you look great but, it also means when you’re at rest, you burn more calories.
Physical fitness tips
- If you're under 40, hold your stretches for 30 seconds. If you're over 40, hold them for 60 seconds. As you reach your 40s, your muscles become less pliable, so they need to be stretched longer.
- If you regularly run long distances, increase your flexibility and strengthen the core and other key muscles. Incorporate yoga or Pilates into your training routine. They will strengthen your hips and can help prevent pain and injuries.
- Want to get into running? Don’t take it too seriously! It should be enjoyable and a diversion from all the stresses of everyday life. Running shouldn’t feel like a chore, so don’t be too rigid with your training schedule.
- Put your workouts in your diary, so that they are already scheduled. You’re more likely to get your workout done, because you don’t have the “I don’t have time,” or “I can’t fit it in” excuse.
- Mix it up! Your body naturally adapts to exercise and becomes stronger, meaning the same routine won’t be as much of a challenge. Change your fitness program every six weeks.
- Cardio is vital. Weights will get you looking toned but to improve your health you need to train your heart by getting your heart rate up. Being fit is just as important!
- When the going gets tough, remind yourself that the pain & discomfort are not eternal. It will end soon. Think about how you would feel if you didn’t finish your workout. You can try to take your mind off of the pain by mentally zoning out.
- Exercise regularly for shorter sessions as opposed to cramming all your exercise into one or two long sessions a week. This helps you build the habit of working out, and if you miss a session, in terms of the overall benefit lost, it’s much less.
- An all body exercise will get you fit from top-to-toe, so try something that will work out all your muscle groups. Rowing is great because it works 84% of your muscles and is low impact. What’s more, rowing burns up to 1000 calories an hour!!
- To see real results you’ll have to defeat your toughest opponent – yourself. Exercising outside when it’s cold and dark can be difficult, but you’ve won half the battle just getting outside. Reward yourself for each little milestone reached – download new music, or buy new fitness clothing or gym wear – to help keep you going.
Quick fitness tips
- Protect your neck. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth when you do crunches. It will help align your head properly, which helps reduce neck strain.
- There are lots of small exercises that you fit in at home before work. Try 10 squats, 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups. Then, 9 squats, 9 sit-ups and 9 push-ups. Carry this on until you only have one left of each. It’s a great little metabolism booster and toning exercise!
- Engage your posture. Think about how you are sitting and standing, switching your core muscles on every 20 mins will make a big difference to how you look and feel and will strengthen your posture & confidence.
- Prone to skipping a workout? Make plans to work out with a friend or partner so that you have double the resolve to show up.
- We all want a toned tummy but six-pack abs is not just about crunches. The quickest way to get that washboard stomach is by stripping the fat off on top of your muscle with a combination of cardio, clean eating and circuit training.
- Stay motivated! Update your playlists and choose music that makes you want to move. Set goals (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly), but make sure they’re realistic and achievable. Use creative visualization, meditation…every little helps!
- Hydrate! Drink water throughout the day, but especially whilst working out to prevent cramp and muscle fatigue. Water is the healthy drink you cannot beat.
- Life can be hectic and time can be short but there are no excuses not to exercise! 20 minutes of HIIT is all you need to get your fitness levels up, lose fat and calories. Do fast circuits using your full body with very little rest in between each exercise.
- The key to get the most out of your workout? Don’t stop when it gets hard, stop when it’s finished! Push yourself, and you’ll get there.
- A quick way to up your fitness level? Increase your amount of incidental exercise you do every day. Walk upstairs, jump off the bus a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way, and go for a walk on your lunch break.