8 Ways to Get Fit with Wit

You've heard the phrase "Don't work harder, work smarter". Well, it turns out, that applies to more than just your day job. You can outwit your weight problems and tone muscle by following some very simple, effective tips that max out the impact of your workout.

#1 - Mix it Up!
Don't just workout doing the same boring exercises everyday! Reps are important, but don't put your workout on repeat. Constantly find new ways to exercise your targeted muscle groups that throw your body a curve-ball. By breaking up your routine and taking on new exercises, you'll increase the return on your workout investment. This is because your muscles have memory and as they get used to taking on tasks, the rate at which you gain strength and tone decreases. Mix it up and reach your full potential!

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#2 - Just Breathe!
When's the last time you thought about breathing? While working out, it's time to change that. Taking deep, consistent breaths is key to extending your stamina and maximizing your workout. In fact, most adults only take in 1/3 of their lung capacity while breathing. Open up and let that air in! An easy way to start breathing more effectively is to breathe in fully with each exertion during your reps with weights, and then breathe out slowly and purposefully as you allow the weight to go back to a resting position.

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#3 - Hit the powder!
While all the hype might not be totally true about protein shakes, they're a critical part of recovering from your workout. Taking a protein supplement (most choose shakes, although there are protein bars) after working out along with creatine rushes the chemicals that your muscles desperately need in recovery from a heavy workout.

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#4 - Have you seen your Report Card?
No, not that report card! Keeping track of your fitness level with a work-out report card allows you to track progress as your strength and endurance increases. Those days where you feel like you just can't make it to the gym, remind yourself that missing will mean a blank spot on your fitness report card. Once you get to the gym, push yourself to improve your weight class in each category. It may seem simple, but personal accountability starts with a pen and paper!

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#5 - Sprint to the finish, and then sprint again!
Going for a run at the start of your workout? Take your run to the next level with quick sprints instead of a steady rate. Building up muscle and endurance is about more than constant activity, so sprint for 45 seconds and then jog. Keep repeating this cycle for 5-10 minutes and you'll be good to head in for some weight-lifting. This not only saves you some time on cardio, but is much more effective at increasing blood flow, which is critical for peak muscle performance.

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#6 - Nobody is Superman!
Is working out an all-or-nothing mentality? If it is, you're much more likely to fail. Give yourself space for failure and breaks. The 80/20 approach will oftentimes make the most sense as you give yourself a more realistic set of expectations. Basically, if you make 80% of your scheduled workouts then you're a success. Life happens, so a 20% handicap is completely reasonable and easier to stick to long-term.

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#7 - Make Daily Habits that Require Exertion
Park further away from the store than you have to. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand for five minutes out of every hour at your desk. These simple things add up to make a huge difference in your daily calorie burn.

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#8 - Start your day off right!
Did you know that habits take more than a month to be set in stone? This means that once you hit the 2 week mark of working out everyday, it only gets easier to start your day off with a stress-relieving jog or weight lifting session. You can increase your chance of success by assigning a specific part of the house or a gym in your neighborhood as your workout zone. Only go to these places when you're ready to work out and subconsciously you'll begin associating more and more about these areas with working out and living a healthier life!

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