Fitness: There are just so many ways to define it as it doesn’t mean the same thing to everybody. There are also so many ways that somebody can achieve their fitness goals to improve their health and appearance. With so many ways to do things, you are probably wondering where to begin. Try beginning with the tips below. To improve your physical fitness, never resort to steroids or performance enhancers. These can have devastating effects on your body, and the results will typically be short term. Additionally, you will be damaging your health, which can lead to muscle tears and pulls. Lay off the steroids if you desire optimal fitness results. The best way to build up your forehand strength for use with sports like tennis and racquetball is to do exercises with a crumpled newspaper. To do this properly, lay the paper flat on a surface. Start at a corner and crumple it into a ball shape with your dominant hand for about 30 seconds. Do the exact same with the other hand. Jumping jacks are a classic calisthenic exercise that you can do. All you have to do is jump and separate your arms and legs. Then jump again and return to a normal standing position. Repeat this about 20 to 25 times a day. If you’re a little more athletic, you can increase the number of jacks. Add music to your fitness routine. Listening to music on your iPod while working out will keep you going for much longer than if you are doing repetitive exercises in a quiet area. Music will make you feel energized and help you keep pace by following the beat. Put together a specific fitness playlist, featuring songs that you know will keep you on track. Don’t worry about it too much if you slip up here and there in your workout plans. Aim for an 80/20 plan- 80% of the year you exercise regularly, and the other 20% of the time you’re too busy, spending time with family, having fun, or sick. Accepting this ahead of time makes you more likely to stick with your workouts rather than getting frustrated and giving up. When you are trying to lose weight, then you probably do not want to take any kind of supplement, but if you decide to gain some weight, there are a few things that can really help you out. One of the most important supplements on the market is whey protein. When you are doing arm curls, it is recommended to flex your triceps after each repetition. You can do this by completely straightening your arms. It is important to flex your triceps each time because it ensures that each muscle is being worked on through its entire range of motion. When working with heavy weights over your own body weight, you should always try and wear a weight belt. This helps keep your spine in line and in case something happens, it can prevent death or serious injury. This is essential with working out with weights that you might not be able to handle. If you wish to get more bulk from exercise or go the body building route, you may need to take a protein supplement. Protein supplements are made from whey, soy or casein. They deliver protein to the body quicker than other forms when digested because they can be easily dissolved in water or other fluids, for consumption. Although wearing a weight belt is ideal during overhead presses, squats, and other maximal lifts, it should not be worn all the time. By training regularly while wearing the weight belt, you might actually decrease the effectiveness and tone of your abdominal and lower back muscles, therefore sacrificing your hard-earned muscular strength. After an intensive workout, reward yourself with a massage. Not only is a massage relaxing and enjoyable, it is also an excellent way to help your muscles recover from the trauma of an adrenaline-fueled gym session. This reward will also make you more inclined to workout again in order to receive another massage. You can improve your balance by using a sofa cushion. Stand on one leg on a sofa cushion and move a medicine ball or any other heavy object from one hand to the other. Try wrapping the ball around your head and back or try each movement with your eyes closed. Long, lean muscles become less flexible as you age and exercise physiologists recommend doing longer stretches to compensate. While stretching is recommended for everyone before exercising, experts suggest it is even more important for those over 40. A good tip is to try to hold your stretches for 20-30 seconds when under 40 years old. If you are beyond 40, try to hold those stretches for 45-60 seconds. Longer stretches will keep your muscles smooth and pliable. Hydration is an important issue, and most, if not all people who involve themselves in intensive work, should realize this. Understanding the body’s signals and learning to cope with new environments is all part of the exercising process, it just requires the right advice, possibly given in this article, to use it.