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16508 - ruin your workoutExercising is time, effort and money invested into your own health and well-being. The last thing you want is to go to all that trouble and not maximize your efforts. Unfortunately, these 5 things can ruin (or at least limit) the benefits of your workout.  TJ Lux, of the Exercise Coach shares these tips: 

1. Exercising too long. Exercise is most beneficial when packed into briefer periods of time. Besides the challenge of finding the time, research shows that exercising beyond 35-45 minutes of intense effort can increase cortisol (stress hormone) and accelerate the aging process. It takes no more than 30 minutes to accomplish a meaningful full body and cardio workout.

2. Taking too much time between exercises. Rather than walk around looking for another exercise or waiting for a machine to become available, move quickly from exercise to exercise. Keep your heart rate elevated and challenge your muscles to ensure the cardiovascular and metabolic benefits you want from exercise are realized by having a plan each and every workout.

3. Exercising too frequently. Please don’t misunderstand, being and staying active is vastly important. Being active however, is different than excessively taxing your body with bouts on a treadmill or spending 5 days under the weight of a bench press. Exercise is a stimulus that forces the body to make positive adaptations. Give your body a chance to respond, recover and grow before you test its limits again.

4. Eating the wrong foods. No doubt, post-workout nutrition goes a long way towards amplifying or nullifying the effects of your workout. Snacks and meals high in sugar and/or carbohydrates post-workout can cause a spike in blood sugar blunting the opportunity to burn fat and lose muscle. Feed your muscles not your cravings.

5. Sacrificing sleep for exercise. Arguably the most important aspect to realizing the benefits of your effort is adequate sleep, at least 7+ hours a night. Less than that not only compromises recovery but is also associated with cognitive decline. Getting up early to exercise is still a great idea, just be sure to go to bed earlier as well!

Don’t let these 5 all too easy to make mistakes compromise your workouts. Ensure the time, sweat and effort you put into yourself, brings about the healthiest return on your investment.

TJ Lux is the Director of Training and Development on The Exercise Coach corporate team and is also a multi-unit franchisee. Lux is an all-star athlete who returned from his pro basketball career in Europe to join The Exercise Coach team. Cutting-edge technology and fitness routines carried him through a successful athletic career at Northern Illinois University, where he ranks as the school’s all-time leader in points and rebounds, and in Europe, where he earned various all-star and MVP recognition. 

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