Many of us start fitness regimes with great enthusiasm but give up midway when we don’t seem to be getting the desired results. The reason for this may lie in something that we’re not getting right. If you’re new to the game read through these top tips to make sure you’re on track.

1. Set Small Goals. Perfect muscle tone and fitness doesn’t happen overnight, and persistence is key. The best way to achieve big targets is to start with small steps that lead up to them. Keep track of each milestone you cross. The sense of achievement will boost your morale and you’ll soon be amazed at how far you’ve come.

2. Learn Proper Form. Whatever form of exercise you choose, your form and technique must be correct, otherwise you may hurt yourself instead of improving fitness. Instead of relying on assumptions, seek initial guidance from the trainers and staff at your gym. Fitness magazines and online videos can also help.

3. Mix Different Activities. It can become pretty monotonous doing the same workout day after day. Also, if you do the same exercise for 6-8 weeks, your muscles adapt to it, so you start burning fewer calories. Combine activities like workouts, swimming, outdoor running and lifting weights, to keep up interest.

4. Focus on Strength-Training. Resistance-training encourages more calorie burning, building up stronger muscles and bones. Work muscles on weight machines, handheld equipment like free weights, resistance bands or doing push-ups. Rest each muscle group, biceps and triceps, for at least two days in between.

5. Eat and drink practically. Exercise burns extra calories and raises your metabolism rate. Eat every couple of hours instead of three heavy meals-a-day. Before working out, snack on carbs for a fast burst of energy. After a workout, eat a carb-protein mix, like a peanut butter sandwich or a healthy smoothie.