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SHANNONY84's Photo SHANNONY84 SparkPoints: (23,666)
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4/1/13 9:11 P

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Spring is a good time to start exercising and stay motivated to keep it up. Photo Credit spring image by Valery Sibrikov from Fotolia.com

When spring comes and the weather gets warmer, many people start peeling of the clothes and decide that it's time to get serious about exercise. The most important thing to remember is that small changes go a long way toward achieving your goals. Just because you are committed to an exercise program does not mean that you cannot have fun while you do it.
Goals

"Combat the Fat" author Jeff Anderson recommends holding yourself accountable for your goals. If you tell people, whose thoughts and opinions you respect, about your goals, you will be more likely to stick to them. Having both short- and long-term goals can help to keep you in check as you progress. A short-term goal might be losing five to 10 pounds in a month to wear a bikini at the beach. In the long term, you might try a fitness competition, train for a marathon or finally develop those "six-pack" abs before next spring comes around.
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Warm-Up

Warming up properly prevents injury, but it also helps you get a better workout, according to the book, "Xtreme Lean." One example is doing five to 10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise before your workout. Another warm-up is doing light sets of exercises before moving on to heavier poundage. For example, with the bench press you might do one or two light sets with 50 percent to 75 percent of the weight you will use on heavier working sets. There is no sense putting all the effort into getting in shape if you get injured because you were too lazy to warm up properly. A muscle pull or strain can keep you indoors out of the warm spring weather.
Lift Weights

Adding weight training to your exercise program can help you burn more fat, according to "The Fat Burning Bible." Not only do you burn calories while lifting weights, but for up to 48 hours afterward. Free weights will give you the best results, however, machines and resistance bands are a good alternative if you are too intimidated by the gym atmosphere. Get some resistance bands and a pair of dumbbells and head outdoors to get a good workout in the spring sunshine. Try to remember the sunscreen.
Advanced Techniques

Some advanced training techniques can help to make your workout more efficient. For example, negative-accentuated sets burn extra calories for up to 72 hours, according to "Xtreme Lean." To do these, lower the weight on any exercise to a slow six-second count. Drop-sets are another great technique, done by completing one set of an exercise, then "dropping" or decreasing the weight and immediately doing another set to exhaustion. You can try double or triple drop-sets once you get used to the technique. These methods give you more results with less time in the gym, so you can get out and enjoy the warm spring weather.
Cardio

Doing your cardiovascular exercise after your weight lifting can help you to burn more fat, according to "Xtreme Lean." You do not need to be on a treadmill in a dark gym to burn calories. Instead, you can get out and participate in outdoor activities that you enjoy. Thirty minutes a day of walking, jogging, cycling or playing recreational sports should provide you with all the cardio you need. However, if you feel you have a lot of weight to lose you might double up and do cardio twice a day for five days a week.


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