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Optimize Your Exercise: Maximizing the Time Spent Working Out

Diet and Exercise are the inseparable twins that are seen and heard everywhere weight loss and fat loss are mentioned. This article will focus on techniques and tips that will help you to maximize the time you spend exercising.

According to a survey of 3,000 professionals certified by the American Council on Exercise, there are ten common mistakes that people are making as they are working out at the gym or at home.

1. Not stretching enough. Before we begin a workout, it is very important to stretch. According to the survey, you can help to prevent injury by stretching before and once again immediately following a workout.

2. Working out with too much weight. Lifting more weight than you can handle will almost guarantee an injury of some sort. Injuries cause setbacks, which create delays and can completely disrupt the establishing of a new workout habit. Go easy on yourself to begin with. Increase weight slowly over time.

3. Neglecting to warm up before a workout. Just like old, rusty parts on a machine, muscles that have not been used lose their flexibility and elasticity. Take time to allow your muscles to adjust to the workout by warming up. Start slowly and ease into your maximum workout intensity.

4. Forgetting to cool down after a workout. 98, 99, 100.... Okay you're not quite done yet. Take some time to ease your heart-rate back to normal. Stretch your muscles again encouraging the blood to flow through the regions you have just worked. Doing so will help you feel better after your workout and will better prepare you for your next workout.

5. Working out too intensely. A slow and steady approach is better than racing out of the gate. Your exercise will be more effective and you'll build a better foundation upon which more weight and/or more repetitions can be added.

6. Not drinking enough water. Water is the vehicle that your body uses to carry waste out of the body and to keep you cool. If you don't properly hydrate, you'll ache more and feel worse. Don't let thirst be your guide. Drink water well before thirst sets in.

7. Leaning too heavily on a stairstepper. Doing so can be harmful to your back and wrists. Try decreasing the intensity of the session to the point where you can keep good posture and only lightly rest your hands on the rails. Once you've mastered this speed, you can increase from that point on.

8. Not exercising with enough intensity. Assuming you are properly hydrated, your exercise should be intense enough to cause you to lightly perspirate. Check your heartrate to see that you are getting it into the target zone. If you don't know yours, first calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Your target zone should be sixty to ninety percent of that number.

9. Jerking while you are lifting weights. Jerking weights is a sign that you are using too much weight or too many reps. An exercise must be done correctly to be beneficial. Jerking weights is your body's attempt to use your back (or some other stronger muscle group) to compensate for a lack of strength elsewhere.

10. Eating energy bars and drinking sugary sports drinks. These items are very helpful for extreme athletes who are working out more than two hours at a time. If you are like the average exerciser and you consume these items, you're really only creating more work for yourself down the road.

I mentioned this in a previous article and want to mention it again. I really feared starting to workout again because of the soreness I had experienced in years past. I began to take R+ Alpha Lipoic Acid ( and my soreness was minimal. At age 43, it had been ten years since I had been to the gym and I expected the soreness to be worse than a decade before. The R+ ALA did an amazing job of preventing muscle stiffness and soreness.

Do what works for you, but if the fear of not being able to tie your own shoes the day after your first workout is keeping you from exercise (like it was for me), you may want to give it a shot!

Michael Callen is the author of the Weekly Weightloss Tips Newsletter ( and the Chief Technology Officer for, an online retailer of dozens of health and wellness products such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), r+ alpha lipoic acid (R+ ALA), and Green Tea Extract.


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