I went to the gym today and as I was exercising, I noticed some things that could be problematic for gym-goers.
First, a lot of people were doing cardio exercise at a slow or moderate pace. They did not appear to be working very hard. The point of cardio is to strengthen your heart, so it needs to be done at a moderate-fast pace. If you are not breaking a sweat or breathing hard, then you may not be working out fast/hard enough. To find out, take 220 minus your age. That is your maximum heart rate. Try to get your heart rate (heartbeats per minute) to 60-80% of your max heart rate during cardio workouts. If you are new to exercise, start at 60%. But as you continue exercising over the next weeks-months, increase to 70-80%. Please consult your physician before starting an exercise program to find out if you should have different parameters.
Second, I was watching Ellen on one of the channels, and she had Mrs. Obama as a guest today. They were talking about the importance of exercise, so they both got down on the floor and started doing push-ups. They made it to around 20. However, one of them did her push-ups only going halfway down. To get the most benefit out of push-ups, do them in a full range of motion. This is true of most strengthening exercises (machine/free weights especially).
Similarly, I saw a man in the gym doing push-ups, but his back was not straight. It was arching up and down. This could cause back pain/injury, so be sure to check your techniques and postures throughout each exercise.
Third, let’s talk variety! Do you go to the gym and do the same workout every day? Treadmill at 4.0 miles per hour for 35 minutes? To get the most out of your gym workouts, add various forms of cardio and/or various speeds.
Fourth, how long should you exercise? The minimum recommended amount is 30 minutes/day, most days per week (at least 4-5x/week). However, if you really want to lose weight, you need to work up to more than that. If you have the time, one hour or more would be ideal. The more you exercise, the more you will lose weight!