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Starting a Safe and Effective Workout Plan

Started an Exercise Plan? Shape Up Safely With These Tips

If you're sticking to your New Year's resolution to lose weight, make sure you do it the right way. You don't want to end up sidelined with injuries or waste your time on exercises that aren't giving you results! Here are a few ways to keep your shape-up plan safe and effective.

Start off slow: Enthusiasm goes a long way when you're trying to stick with your workout goals, but your desire to get fast results can lead to overworking or straining yourself. "Hitting it so hard and obsessively that your body can't cope with the added stressor [leads to] injury," says Tim Rich, a personal training manager at Crunch gyms. A better way to begin your workout plan is to start slow and gradually ramp up when you feel ready. Instead of an "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to starting a workout, read these tips for starting on a new workout plan slowly.

Get your form right: It isn't always safe to assume you know what you're doing when it comes to a new workout. Make figuring out proper form a priority at the beginning, before you start speeding up your reps. Try to work out in front of a mirror so you can be aware of what your body looks like, and make sure you know your basics (to get started, read our tips for performing five basic strength-training moves correctly here).

It's not about spot-training: Body-part-focused exercises are great for toning and building muscle, but don't think they're the only way to toned abs and shapely legs. While you'll definitely become stronger, a few sessions of butt-busting moves won't get you the body you want; when it comes to shaping your body, nothing beats a healthy diet plan with regular exercise. If you're ready to drop a pound a week, follow this plan to help get you there.

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