There are many different reasons for starting up or intensifying your physical fitness program, but among the most popular are to enhance one’s appearance, increase their overall level of health, and to prolong and improve the quality of their life. Use the information found in these tips to get started with your new plan.

When you are weight lifting to increase fitness, it is always preferable to use free weights, not machines. This is because the free weights will allow you to build up the supporting muscles around the major muscle groups. Machines, instead, focus on very specific areas. You will see an increase in the amount of weight you can lift on the machine, but not as much strength as if you used free weights.

Finding a fitness buddy can motivate you to keep working out. By finding someone to work out with, you can have someone to talk to, hang out with, and hold yourself accountable to. You are less likely to skip out on a workout if you are supposed to meet someone there.

One way to ensure a safe fitness routine is to make sure that you have fully recovered from the previous day, before attempting your new workout. This can be done by measuring your morning resting heart rate and comparing it to your normal resting heart rate. If it is considerably higher than normal, you need more rest.

When it comes to exercise, don’t take the “all or nothing” approach. It is much better to sneak in a little bit of exercise than to do nothing at all. Just a simple walk will help with your overall health. If you only have one day a week to commit to strength training, you will still see benefits.

Some older adults will become less mobile because of their loss of balance when walking. Using a walking cane or a walker will help improve balance and lessen the chance from falling. However, studies have shown that using a pole instead of a cane or walker is better for the older adult. A pole will increase the strength of the upper-body and help the cardiovascular system as well as simultaneously improve their balance while walking.

Invest in a quality pair of workout shoes. Your feet are actually smaller in the morning when you wake up. In order to find the optimal fit, go shoe shopping after you get off work or in the late evening; by this time, your feet are at their largest. The perfect fit will allow you approximately one half inch between your toes and the shoe’s end.

This unexpected move can effectively improve your running form: Instead of running more slowly for longer distances, do just the opposite. Increasing your speed while running shorter distances will help you to build more muscle tone and increase your endurance. This move will also make you less susceptible to sprains, strains, and other injuries.

Now that you have identified your key motivation for starting up or stepping up a comprehensive fitness program, you can take some time to plan out and visualize your most effective approach and contingency plan. Use these tips and tricks as you push yourself to beat the obstacles and win your way to physical fitness.