Whether it’s your first time at the gym or you’re a gym rat, it's best to get an all-around workout that includes both cardio and strength training. Since gym machines are typically designed to meet the needs of both men and women, try out a variety until you find the machines you're most comfortable with and most likely to use routinely.
Boosting Your Metabolism
Whether you’re looking to lose weight at the gym or just improve your overall health, giving your metabolism a boost is essential. Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into the energy needed throughout the day, and it's based on your body composition, your sex and your age. You boost your metabolism by building and maintaining muscle and with cardio exercises that improve your overall health and increase endurance.
The intensity you use on the machine of your choice and the duration of your sweat sessions will be the determining factors on overall effectiveness of your cardio exercise workout. The treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical and stair climber all offer options for increasing your speed and resistance as you become increasingly fit.
"Fitness" magazine recommends five machines it says can potentially boost metabolism by almost 20 percent for at least two hours after your workout. For each machine you should perform one set with eight to 15 reps per set. If you breeze through the exercises, you’ll want to increase your weight, but if you’re shaking after the first few reps, you’ll need to lower your weight. Include the cable tower machine for biceps curls, the lat pull-down machine for a close-grip, midback pull-down, the leg press machine for a basic leg press, the Smith machine for a chest press and finally the shoulder press for a basic shoulder press. You’ll engage your biceps, lats, quads, glutes, pectorals, triceps and anterior and medial deltoids with this exercise sequence.
Cardio exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories, and you should aim to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine, according to MayoClinic.com. If you can’t include a cardio workout every day, aim to include one, at minimum, five days a week. Strength training should be included two to three days per week to increase strength, build muscle mass and build bone density, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to give your muscles at least one day of rest between strength-training sessions.
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