Are you in an exercise rut, or have you hit a fitness plateau? It never hurts to include more ideas into your fitness toolbox. Good tips, along with variety and hard work, will help you achieve your fitness goals. Use these ideas to make your workouts more effective and to augment your fitness plan.

Set realistic fitness goals by considering the time you have available and your current level of physical fitness. By setting realistic goals you are less likely to get discouraged and give up. Goals also help you track your progress so you can adjust your goals as necessary to achieve an optimum fitness level.

If you want to get in shape using yoga, do your yoga stretches and poses on a hard surface. Practicing on a soft floor can lead to joint injuries and can throw off your balance, which will reduce the effectiveness of your yoga routine. In a reverse of the common practice, you can place a hard, smooth material onto a soft carpet to create the ideal yoga surface.

Weight training is important to anyone trying to keep or become physically fit. Even if you’re only trying to improve your cardiovascular performance, muscle will make all exercise easier. Also, the body burns calories at a faster pace when there is an abundance of muscle. Every workout routine should include some muscle training.

The best way to incorporate exercise into your day is to keep your body moving at all times. While you are watching TV, stand up and do a few exercises rather than sitting on the coach. Work out when there is a commercial break. You could even do simple strength training exercises with dumbbells while you sit on the couch or floor. You can always find time to get extra exercise in.

Work on keeping your muscles limber by holding your stretches. For those under 40, try holding your stretches for about 30 seconds. For those over 40, try holding them for about 60 seconds. The reason for the time difference is that muscles lose their pliability as you grow older and can become strained or receive injury more easily than when you’re younger.

Use your smart phone to set alarms that remind you to get up from the desk and climb a set of stairs. Even a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise. In our harried day to day lives, however, it is sometimes difficult to remind ourselves to do it. Exercise during the work day will benefit you both physically and mentally. Your work will likely benefit as well.

Running is a wonderful and effective way to get in shape, but it can also lead to extreme muscle fatigue and exhaustion. For one week out of every two months, cut the average length and intensity of your regular runs in half. This period of rest allows your body to more effectively repair itself and avoid chronic running injuries.

Hard work and variety in your fitness routine helps you to be more effective in increasing your fitness level. Use the ideas in this article to keep you going so that you don’t get stuck in a rut. The more information that you have, the easier it will be for you to stick to your plan.