There is no such thing as “spot reduction.” The best way to lose those love-handles or other areas? Focus on total body weight loss and firming the muscles.
Not monitoring your heart rate
If you follow the heart rate recommendations on the cardio machines, you may be doing yourself a disservice. A heart rate that’s too low will use more fat for energy, but it may take much longer to burn the same amount of calories. By the same token, a heart rate that’s too high makes you anaerobic, which may burn up your lean tissue. Take advantage of your free Get Started session with a personal trainer and establish your individual heart rate range to help you reach your goals sooner.
Only doing cardio
Cardio is a great way to burn calories. However, your body always loses a percentage of calories from fat and a percentage of calories from lean tissue/muscle. In order to keep the muscle and burn mostly fat, incorporate strength training to replace the lean tissue calories burned during cardio. Along with exercise, eating a well-balanced diet can help you reach your goals sooner.
In order for muscles to reach their full potential for strength, they must be able to stretch 120% of their natural resting length. This won’t happen if a muscle is tight from being over-worked. Here are a few simple tips:
–Stretch all major muscle groups
-Hold each stretch approximately 30 seconds (don’t bounce)
-Stretch after warming up
-Stretch only to the point of discomfort, not pain.
Doing the same exercises day in/day out
As your body becomes accustomed to an exercise routine, it expends less energy to do the same amount of work. So you’re not burning the same amount of calories you initially did. The same goes for strength training. If you want to continually challenge a muscle and burn calories, change up the exercise for that muscle group.
Not taking a rest day
If you rest 1-2 days per week, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and avoid over-training injuries. Rest days enable muscle repair and/or growth and recovery of the central nervous system. Enjoyable, low-intensity activities such as a walk or leisurely cycle are perfectly okay. Of course, if you need a day to veg on the sofa,
that’s fine too.
No pain, no gain?
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. There is a difference between pain and discomfort and everybody’s threshold is different. While pushing yourself can often lead to more results, listen to your body and don’t do more than you can handle.
Originally from PRO Pulse March-April 2011