7 tips for a better work out

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Everyone has their own golden set of rules for working out, but here are some basic ones that are hard to argue, no matter who you are. Here are our seven basic rules to help keep your work outs moving and keeping them as strong as possible.

1. Find someone to work out with - Sometimes people can be weird about this, especially when they're just getting started, but having someone around when you work out keeps things social, and helps you challenge yourself more by making it a light and fun competition.

2. No pain, no gain - We've all heard this one. Any movement is good, but there's a reason why a saying like that exists. Obviously you shouldn't work out until you need to be hospitalized, but your body needs to be pushed every now and then. Losing weight requires a push, and it's not going to be something your body feels good about at first, but once you find a way to stick with it, nearly everything will start to come around.

3. Be structured - When you plan to work out, actually work out. Don't linger between laps, don't sit down for five minutes to rest  or make phone calls, don't split up your work out. Keep pushing yourself while your blood is really flowing, and get the maximum burn from that work out.

4. Split things up between cardio and strength training - Some people focus on only one or the other, the truth is, you want both of these. Cardio burns calories, but strength training build up the muscles you need to help burn those calories. If you only do one or the other, you're really not working out as effectively as you could be.

5. Stick to water - Gatorade is a blast, but those sports drinks are full of sugar. We showed you literally how much sugar is in that drink once before, but we'll remind you, a typical Gatorade has 21 grams of sugar and 80 calories per serving. So in one serving you managed to erase five minutes of jumping rope, and we know that no one actually drinks just one serving at a time. Compare this to water, which has no sugar, and no calories, it seems like a pretty simple choice.

6. Change up your work outs - Work outs burn so much because they're whipping your body into shape. As you get stronger with weights, or more comfortable with running, you'll start to burn fewer calories with those regular exercises. Change things up from time to time. There is always more than one way to do some cardio. There's more than just going for a jog, and there's more out there than just the free weights.

7. Watch your progress - This is a little more of an "after the work out" plan, but keep aware of things, watching your food, watching your exercise habbits, you can map your success and see what helps and what doesn't. Keeping your exercise time planned, and watching your own body can make sure you're pushing yourself at the right levels, you don't want to work out so infrequently that it doesn't matter, you also don't want to ignore strained muscles, and keep making things worse for them. Stay aware of your progress, and plan based on that. The more aware you are, the easier things should be.

These seven rules are pretty simple ones and even better, they don't cost you any money since the work outs can be whatever you want. Hopefully these tips can help you get the most out of your workouts.

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