Whether it’s watching The Bachelor while using the treadmill, or showing off those new abs in a #selfie, everyone has their own workout routine. But what if your exercise habits were actually bad habits? Time recently revealed a list of things you're doing wrong at the gym, and you'd be surprised with what they came up with. (Spoiler alert: Too much cardio is a bad thing.) Here are seven things you should consider avoiding during your next workout.
1. Ditch the elliptical
You might as well call it “treadmill light” — emphasis on the “light” part. According to Time, it doesn’t “use a natural body motion to work out your body.” Going with natural methods of working out, like running or jumping, are more effective when it comes to getting your cardio in for the day. Ellipticals can also make you lazy with your workout; you’ll start off going strong for 10 minutes but then you’ll transition into that one-swish-per-minute habit. Conclusion: Go back to the treadmill or consider other forms of cardio like jump-roping, bending or jumping squats.
2. Slow and steady is wrong
When it comes to a good workout, going for a long time at a steady pace isn’t the best idea. You want to go hard for 15 or 30 minutes … and then go home! Intensity sans breaks is the best way to get the most out of your workout. Plus, you’ll have more time to do important things, like sleeping.
3. Avoid hanging out/playing with your hair/Facebooking at the gym
Put down the iPhone! Lollygagging does not make for optimal calorie burning. Go in with a set regimen, do it, and then get out of there. Chilling out and texting could interfere with your work out — or worse, keep it from happening at all. Remember that time you got all the way to the gym, liked a few things on Instagram, put on some deodorant and left? My point exactly. Treat the gym like a trip to Target and/or Whole Foods on a Saturday afternoon — make a list, avoid temptation, and leave!
4. Cardio isn’t everything
Don’t forget about your muscles! Yes, cardio will burn off those cookies you ate last night, but don’t discount strength training. You want that lean muscle mass, trust me. Why? Did you know that building muscle leads to burning more calories throughout the day when you’re not at the gym (I repeat: burning calories while not at the gym). Drop and give me 10 ... or two for now!
5. Sports drinks = sugar and calories
Yes, they’re full of electrolytes, but have you ever examined the nutritional facts on those things?! They’re full of sugar, calories, and weird words you have to sound out, syllable by syllable, to pronounce. Water should do the trick without making your tongue all fuzzy and blue. You also might benefit from a quick, healthy snack 45+ minutes before working out, like nut butter and toast.