San Diego, Calif. - May 7, 2003 - It is easy to develop bad habits that minimize the effectiveness of a workout, habits that waste time, energy and money. For those individuals who are committed to improving their overall fitness, it is crucial to regularly evaluate their workout habits. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, lists several important fitness and workout guidelines to encourage individuals to maintain their goals and, ultimately, result in improved, more effective exercise routines.
- Consult a specialist for a fitness assessment prior to working out: Taking the time for an initial evaluation is an important way to measure your level of progress. While your weight may initially remain the same, an assessment will give you the opportunity to measure progress that is not readily apparent including changes in body fat, as well as overall strength and aerobic capacity.
- Give yourself a quality mind-and-body workout - avoid extremely intense or overly stressful workouts: Make sure that you are spending enough time with each exercise. Yoga or Pilates classes are a solid option because they emphasize the mind-body connection focusing on breathing and stretching.
- Avoid falling into an inefficient, boring routine: To maximize your results, avoid going through the motions and take note of your heart rate or perceived exertion level to stay in an appropriate training zone. In some cases, you may find that a workout partner provides motivation and can help encourage you to pick up the pace.
- Stay motivated - avoid the aimless workout: Keep yourself motivated and challenged by setting new goals and trying new classes. Tailor workouts to a favorite sport. Seasonal, sports-specific training will help keep you motivated at the gym.
- Remember to be patient – do not expect to see results too fast: It is too easy to become discouraged if you are looking for immediate or “overnight” results. Many exercise-induced physiological changes may take three to six months, or even longer. Remember that regular exercise and proper nutrition are important elements in producing positive change.
- Add variety to keep your workouts balanced and stimulating: Focusing on only one type of exercise or a single aspect of fitness can cause overuse injury, boredom or plateau. It is important to try a variety of exercises to continually challenge your body and your mind.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: It is easy to forget how to properly use strength-training equipment after time away from the gym. Don’t be afraid to swallow your pride and ask the staff for assistance --- that is why they are there. To ensure a safe workout and maximize results, make the most of your workout by asking for guidance whenever you need it.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.
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