Tip #1 Warm up prior to your exercise program by performing movement patterns that will simulate the activities you are preparing to perform (i.e. walk/jog prior to a run; low intensity cycling/rowing/swimming prior to the foundational program performance).
Tip #2 If it hurts, don’t do it! Pain is different than fatigue and reasonable suffering. If it feels like a knife, and creates an “OW” sensation, stop immediately.
Tip #3 Schedule a “tune-up” with your personal trainer periodically if you are not training with them regularly to reassess your progress, design another program and to keep you on track throughout the year.
Tip #4 Avoid static stretching prior to your exercise program or activity. Static stretching is appropriate at the end of the program. Dynamic stretching, general body movement and foam rolling are all acceptable prior to your program. Then, following, foam roll again and stretch statically holding your stretches for all major muscle groups 15-30 seconds to a point of tightness, never pain.
Tip #5 Cross train regularly and avoid performing the same program you were 20 years ago! Things have changed and there are best in practice exercise programs available specifically to fit your needs. Seek these programs out here at MLF!
Tip #6 Slow down! Fast tempo during muscular strength training is generally believed to be unsafe and definitely less effective than slower tempos designed to address the time-under-tension (TIT) principle of training (i.e. the muscles need time to achieve momentary muscle failure and eventually to adapt).
Tip #7 Perform full range of motion movement patterns. This is a huge issue on the fitness floor as many clients are not performing full ranges of motion and this could well be why they may not be achieving the results they seek. Muscles must train from origin to insertion to strengthen the entire muscle.
Tip #8 Spend less time between sets when training with moderate to heavy loads. In a two-set exercise of 8-12 repetitions, you really only need approximately 15 seconds to recover. There are exceptions when training with very heavy loads (i.e. the heavier the load, the longer the recovery) but even in this case, 60-120 seconds is usually adequate to achieve active recovery and to exert again.
Tip #9 Spend less time on any one piece of cardio equipment, particularly if you are reading or texting. Spend time on several pieces of cardio and remain 100% focused on your exertion.
Tip #10 Purchase a heart rate monitor and track your progress!