Downing an energy bar before the gym can actually zap your energy. How come? Many of those bars are high in fiber, which is normally a good thing, but it takes forever to digest. And that digestion requires energy — energy that would be better spent on your muscles. You end up feeling sluggish and having trouble pushing yourself. If you’re ravenous beforehand, opt for a banana, which is digested super quickly and won’t inhibit your gym time. (Just steer clear of the apples many gyms offer at the front desk — they’re high in fiber too.)
After Workout: You overindulge afterwards.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with replenishing yourself after a strenuous sweat session — in fact, it’s recommended you get some protein and carbs in your system within an hour of working out. What you don’t want is to totally undo all the hard work you just put in, which is extremely common. A recent study found that people tend to overestimate the number of calories burned and underestimate the number of calories consumed. To keep yourself from eating so much your workout becomes pointless, make sure you check the label of whatever you’re eating and aim for something in the 150 calories or under range. (In other words, not that mega-muffin at the gym cafe.) (at www.Totallysam.com)
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So how do you estimate your maximum heart rate? A common method for determining maximum heart rate for men is to subtract their age from 220, and for women to subtract their age from 226. Keep in mind that this formula gives you only an estimate. Your true max may be as many as 15 beats higher or lower. Also, this formula is generally used for activities during which your feet hit the ground. (To estimate your max for bicycling, subtract about five beats from the final result; for swimming, subtract about ten beats.)
Using that easy formula to find your max, find your target heart-rate zone by calculating 50 percent and 85 percent of your maximum. Here’s the math for a 40-year-old man:
220 – 40 = 180
This is his estimated maximum heart rate.
180 x 0.50 = 90
This is the low end of his target zone. If his heart beats less than 90 times per minute, he knows that he’s not pushing hard enough.
180 x 0.85 = 153
This is the high end of his target zone. If his heart beats faster than 153 beats per minute, he needs to slow down.
Okay, so now you know how to figure out your target heart-rate zone. But how do you know if you’re in the zone? In other words, how do you know how fast your heart is beating at any given moment? You can check your heart by taking your pulse manually or using a heart-rate monitor. (at www.Totallysam.com)