Whether you aim to lose weight, tone up or complete an event, do it to boost your self-esteem, not because you think it will make other people happy. Image Credit: Camera Press

1. Share the load

It's important not to neglect any part of the body when working out - especially when strength training, as it can negatively affect your growth. For example, don't forget to work your back muscles, particularly if you like to focus on your abs - you don't want to end up with a hunchback!

2. Fill up the tank

It might be true that your body taps into fat stores for energy if you're exercising on an empty stomach, but fuelling a workout with the right food is essential for maintaining a lean body and will give you much more endurance.

3. Hydrated = happy

It's quite simple: if your body is dehydrated, your performance will suffer. It's not enough just to sip your way through a workout, so drink plenty of water an hour or two before you hit the gym. The more energy you exert, the more water you'll need - usually an extra litre per hour!

4. Record your results

As you get fitter, your expectations should increase and it can be hard to tell how much progress you're making. So, whether it's measuring your tum and thighs, your best time on a five-kilometre run or how many lengths of the pool you can do, make a note of your success to stay motivated.

5. Rest and recover

Overtraining is something that many gym bunnies are guilty of. But remember, only a small percentage of getting that toned and honed body is achieved in the gym. Aside from your diet, the rest takes place by getting a good night's sleep and allowing your muscles to recover by giving them a break.

6. Play favourites

Dancing queen or a ball-sports buff? There are so many different ways to get active these days, there's bound to be one you enjoy. Find activities that you love and avoid ones that feel like a chore, and you'll have a far happier relationship with fitness!

7. Time will tell

A serious change in your body just isn't going to happen overnight and, if it does, it's likely to be unsafe and only temporary. Overworking your body will lead to burnout or injury and time away from the gym! Take it slow, be patient and believe that dream body will be yours.

8. Be yourself

Don't make a goal just because you think it's what you think you should do or what will please others. Whether you aim to lose weight, tone up or complete an event, do it to boost your self-esteem, not because you think it will make other people happy.

9. Don't get too comfy

Aced your fitness goal to run 3km in 25 minutes? Great, but remember not to settle. Continually pushing yourself and making new goals will ensure your fitness level keeps increasing.

10. Strong mind, strong body

Ever wondered how some people manage to slog it through 42km in a marathon when others - even those who are active - struggle with five despite regular training? The key is perseverance. It's hard to tell the difference between physical and mental exhaustion, but here's a tip: at the first sign of wanting to quit, try biting down and going that little bit further. Surely you'll reap the fruits.