6 Gym Time-Wasters To Avoid

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A couple using gym machinesIt’s okay, we’ve all done it. We give ourselves an hour to get in a workout, then end up wasting nearly half of it — running an errand or two, getting dressed at the gym, chatting with acquaintances we bump into along the way. Even with the best intentions, you can sidetrack your progress if you don’t make good use of your time.

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Think you might be frittering away precious fitness time? Check out what the top 6 fitness time-wasters are:

1. Watching TV or Reading.

The bottom line is that when you’re focused on other things, your workout suffers. You can walk at a 4 mph pace for 45 minutes and burn 300 to 400 calories. But you could get the same calorie burn in 20 to 25 minutes doing intervals (running or walking as fast as you can for a minute or two) every 90 seconds. It’s the total number of calories burned that counts.

If you need a diversion to make it through your session on the elliptical machine, try music. Invigorate your workout with a fresh mix on your iPod instead of spending your time staring at Fox News.

2. Resting Too Long.

The machine you want to use is occupied, so you grab a towel, get a drink of water, run to the bathroom — and the next thing you know, 10 minutes have passed.

To avoid such time-wasting, rest only 30 to 90 seconds between strength exercises. To maximize time, alternate a set of exercises for your biceps with a set for triceps, he says. That allows you to shorten the rest interval in between — while one muscle group is working, the opposing group is getting active recovery.

You can also save time during your warm-up by mimicking exercises you’ll be doing in the workout. For example, if you plan to work your legs by doing lunges and squats with weights, warm up with high knee steps, butt kicks, lunges with a twist, and sumo squats.

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