Congrats on spending that hour at the gym—but are you spending it effectively? At Health.com, Jennifer Cohen offers tips on improving your workout by dropping some bad habits. Among them:
- Stop using the elliptical, which is both "boring" and "ineffective," Cohen writes. Its motion isn't a natural one for your body, and natural motions—running, jumping—are better for muscle toning. In fact, 20 minutes of cross-training offers more benefit than 45 minutes on the elliptical.
- Cut the cardio in favor of strength training. In addition to boosting your heart rate and cutting calories, strength training works for you even when you're not working out: Increased mass allows your muscles to burn calories over the course of the day.
- When it comes to your routines, stop repeating yourself so much. An exercise that was once challenging gets easier for your body with repetition, and that means you're not using as much energy. Switch it up every day, and you'll "trick your body into working harder and burning more calories."
- Ditch the Gatorade. Sugary sports drinks are packed with calories. Instead, stick with water, and a healthy snack about 45 minutes before you hit the gym.
- Stop dawdling. Schedule your water breaks in advance, and quit texting during your workout.
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