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Tips for Getting the Most Benefit From Going to the Gym

Tips for Getting the Most Benefit From Going to the Gym

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If you are not an avid gym user or have no regular exercise routine, know that is never too late to start. Anyone at any age can gain benefit from working out. Strength training helps build and develop muscle tissue, improve strength and bone density. As we age, we unfortunately gradually lose all these things and it takes resistance training to maintain or build on what we have. It is especially important over the age of 50 when it starts decreasing at a faster rate. Don’t wait, start an activity that will help now to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and many other diseases. These activities can include cardiovascular training, sports, swimming, and resistance training which I will now go over.

To make the most out of your gym membership and to ensure a higher success rate in the gym, follow these simple steps!

  1. Plan your time before getting to the gym. I will avoid the gym on the days I don’t have a plan. It may seem silly, but so much time is wasted trying to decide what to do next, or you skip out of your allotted gym time early because you get bored and don’t know what to do. If this sounds like you, make a plan now. A example of a simple gym plan is starting with a warm up on a machine (5-10 mins) have a back up choice if the machine you wanted to use is unavailable. Next start weight training in a circuit choosing around 8 exercises (with a few alternatives just in case) and complete this circuit 1-3 times. This will last around 15-25 minutes. Finish your time at the gym with intervals on a cardio machine. An example of this would be on the treadmill you would walk for one minute sprint for one minute for 10-20 minutes. So the longest this would take is an hour, and the more confident you become the fast you will finish your workouts so keep them regular!
  2. Adjust your weights. Remember your goal is to increase strength, muscle tissue (possibly to burn extra calories) or endurance, so you will need to change the weights as your muscles change and adapt. A general rule in weight lifting is if you can finish your full sets, you need to increase the weight by about 5% next time.
  3. Choose to listen to some upbeat faster paced music as opposed to watching TV or reading a book. The music will keep you motivated and keep distractions minimal to maximize your workout. If you do this you will likely burn those calories a lot faster and therefore need less time at the gym.
  4. Work out in the morning to avoid distractions and excuses at night, especially if you have kids and pets! Not only will you ensure a workout, you will probably feel a lot better throughout the day after getting those endorphins going.
  5. Change your workout routine/style of workout every 4-6 weeks. If you do the same workout for months at a time, your body gets bored and stops changing, it may actually start reversing the progress already gained. If you start with a circuit style, you can change to supersetting exercises which is like mini circuits of 2 exercises back to back then resting. An example of this would be doing a leg press then leg curl then rest (repeat 2-3 times), then 2 new exercises like Row and then pushups.

Remember to challenge yourself no matter what your age or stage. Don’t be afraid of starting an exercise plan if you are over 50, just get that body moving!

Contact me on Facebook for additional questions or leave a comment below.

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Comments (3)

  1. Tricia Tuesday - 13 / 11 / 2012 Reply
    Great advice, Thanks Nina. Now to just get to the gym ha
  2. Nina Tuesday - 13 / 11 / 2012 Reply
    Hey Tricia, that is a fantastic point! Same rules apply for your home gym ;) You can do it, just start with the plan!
  3. Tricia Wednesday - 14 / 11 / 2012 Reply
    I started today!! Tired and all :) Thanks for the motivation.

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