Tag Archives: health

From Bottles to Bags: Make the Most of Your Workout with our Top Rated Gym Gear!

Sweating it out at the gym isn’t always comfortable, but that doesn’t mean your gear shouldn’t be! From ear buds falling out to hair bands sliding off, the wrong gym gear can wreak havoc on your workout. In order to help you make the most of your gym time, we’ve compiled a list of the best fitness products on the market. From watches to water bottles, we’ve got you covered with these tested-and-approved personal picks.

 

  • Yoga Mat

Manduka PROlite Mat:

($78) http://www.manduka.com

A favorite yoga mat brand among instructors and yogis alike, Manduka products are known for their durable, comfortable, slip-resistant and eco-friendly designs. The PROlite model is our pick due to the fact that it is also super lightweight, making it ideal for travel.

  • Sport Watch

Timex Ironman Sleek 50-Lap Watch:

($60) http://www.timex.com

The #1 consumer-rated sport watch on Amazon, the Timex Ironman Sleek 50-Lap watch covers all the basics in sport watch technology at an affordable price. It features tap-screen technology which allows the user to simply tap the screen in order to stop and start the timer. Other features include hydration and nutrition alarms, water-resistance, and incredible durability. The watch is featured in a variety of colors, and is available for both men and women.

  • Pedometer

Fitbit Zip:

($59.95) http://www.fitbit.com/zip

This little gadget is an absolute must-have for any fitness techie. The Fitbit allows you to track your progress through an online dashboard that is updated automatically and wirelessly to your computer or mobile device. You can set goals, track your distance and steps, and even challenge friends. The Fitbit utilizes a personal profile set up by the user to accurately assess calories burned, and it’s small and lightweight enough to easily attach to a waistband or bra strap without hindering movement.

  • Water Bottle

Vapur Element

($11.99) http://vapur.us

The self-proclaimed “anti-water bottle,” the Vapur bottle is really more of a plastic bag with a spout for sipping, making it more lightweight and easy to grip than the aluminum or hard plastic kind. The bag is designed to stand upright when filled with liquid, but can be rolled up when empty, so it’s ideal for tucking into your gym bag post-workout. Other features include a wide mouth flip-cap for easy drinking, a clip for attaching to your belt or bag, and it’s dishwasher safe, making cleaning the bottle a breeze.

  • Ear Buds

JayBird Freedom:

(99.99) http://www.jaybirdgear.com

If you’ve ever dealt with the frustration of ear buds that just won’t stay in your ears, then you know how detrimental this can be to your workout. Enter the JayBird Freedom; a lightweight Bluetooth set that features patented ear cushions for comfort and security. Not only will the ear phones stay put, but you no longer have to deal with cords getting in your way during exercise. Additionally, the ear phones are sealed against moisture, making them ideal for the sweatiest of workouts. Even if you do happen to damage your JayBird device, the 24/7 online customer service feature and lifetime warranty will have you covered.

  • Head Bands

Sweaty Bands:

($15) http://www.sweatybands.com

Forget diamonds, Sweaty Bands are a girl’s new best friend! Available in a wide variety of colors and prints, Sweaty Bands are non-slip headbands that stay put during even the most intense sweat session. Featured on the Today Show during Kathie Lee and Hoda’s “Favorite Things” segment, these headbands get rave reviews for their comfort and ability to work with any hair type. Whether you have short hair, fine hair, bangs, or flyaways, Sweaty Bands will keep your hair in place and out of your face!

  • Sport Towel

FROGG TOGGS Chilly Pad Cooling Towel

(14.99) http://www.sportsauthority.com

FROGG TOGGS cooling towels utilize a special hyper-evaporative material which retains water while keeping the towel dry to the touch. When wet, the towel gives off a cooling sensation, making it an ideal choice for summer outdoor workouts. Rinse the towel under cold water before your workout to experience the towel’s unique cooling feature for up to four hours. The towel is also machine washable for ease in cleaning.

  • Gym Bag

Women- Sherpani Meta 4 Yoga/Gym Bag:

(79.95) http://www.shepani.com

With a yoga mat strap, two exterior pockets, a detachable shoe bag, and an internal wet pocket for swimsuits, the Sherpani Meta 4 Yoga/Gym Bag is a true do-it-all bag for any athlete or fitness enthusiast. Bonus: the material is composed of 67% recycled fabric, so it’s a purchase you can feel good about in more ways than one.

Men- Ogio Flex Form F3 Gym Bag:

($90) http://www.ogio.com

Light and durable, the Ogio Flex Form F3 Gym Bag is sweat-resistant and features a ventilated compartment for sweaty clothes and sneakers along with a padded adjustable shoulder strap, making it perfect for the man on the go. With a discreet inside pocket for valuables, this bag will help you go from the locker room to the conference room easily and conveniently.

  •  Shoe Inserts

Superfeet Running Insoles

($39.95-$44.95) http://www.superfeet.com

If you’re a runner, you know the importance of keeping your feet stable and comfortable when hitting the pavement. The running insoles by Superfeet are designed to work with the natural movement of your foot to prevent blisters and pain caused by the shifting of your feet inside your shoes during motion. The insoles are customizable to the wearer for maximum comfort and support.

 

 

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Common Mistakes Made at the Gym (and how to avoid making one yourself!)

The last thing any of us want to hear after logging in countless sessions at the gym is that our efforts aren’t paying off due to a common exercise error that could be easily corrected. There are dozens of mistakes that even gym regulars make that can hinder your progress, potentially cause injury, and keep you from reaching your overall goals. Check out this list to see if you’re guilty of one of these fitness faux-pas, and read on for what to do instead.

1. You work out on an empty stomach.

Unless you’re just going for a light walk, most physical activity requires a fuel-up first. Think about it; you wouldn’t head out for a drive without putting gas in the tank, so don’t hit the gym without something in your stomach. Obviously, you don’t want to eat a huge meal that will weigh you down, but a light snack that provides a good source of carbs will help keep energy levels up throughout your workout and help you burn fat more effectively.

2. You don’t warm up first.

While it’s not a good idea to stretch while your muscles are still cold, a light warm up before a workout is important in the prevention of injury. Try walking or light cardio for five to ten minutes prior to beginning your workout routine.

4. You hit the gym without a plan.

It’s much easier to give up at the gym if you don’t have an idea of what you’re going to be doing before you go in. I have found that mapping out my workouts ahead of time helps to keep me on track and motivates me to work harder when I tell myself beforehand what I’m going to do. This also prevents you from aimlessly wandering around the gym or wasting time socializing mid-workout. You don’t have to keep a notebook filled with numbered instructions, but just having an idea of what exercises you’re going to do or what muscle group you’re going to work that day will help keep you focused.

3. You use bad form.

This is a really common one, even among weight lifters that seemingly know what they’re doing. Instead of observing others to perfect your form, stand in front of a mirror during each exercise so you can watch yourself. Maintain steady breathing, keep your back and shoulders aligned, and avoid jerking the weights. If you have to jerk them, they’re too heavy. Check out www.exrx.net for advice on the proper form for each individual exercise.

5. You rely too heavily on the handlebars.

This is a common gym error that easily goes unnoticed. Holding onto or leaning on the handrails on any cardio machine causes you to shift some of your body weight onto those handrails, meaning that you are not working as hard and are thus burning less calories. If you have to lean on the rails for support, you’re likely going too fast or too hard. Try easing up on the speed or incline enough so that you can get your heart rate up without relying on the handrails.

6. You use the same routine every day.

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also the key to a successful workout program. You may know already that you shouldn’t work out the same muscle group two days in a row because the muscle fibers need time to repair themselves. However, even if you allow enough rest time in between, doing the same exercises each time will eventually cause you to hit a plateau (and it’s boring anyway!). Mix up your routine by incorporating new moves and machines, alternating between high and moderate intensity, or checking out a group class. Even changing the time that you work out will confuse your body and keep you on the way to reaching your goals.

7. You don’t hydrate during your workout.

Water is the single most important and abundant nutrient in the body, yet it has been estimated that up to 75% of Americans are mildly dehydrated every day. It is important to make sure you stay hydrated not only throughout the day, but especially during a workout, as your water stores get depleted as you sweat. Bring a water bottle with you to the gym and aim for a half-cup to one cup of water every 20 minutes during your workout.

8. You try to “spot-reduce” during exercise.

Crunches alone won’t trim that tummy!

I hear a lot of people, women especially, say that they don’t need to weight train except in the one or two areas they want to tone. They will then spend twenty minutes on just one machine in the hopes that doing so every day will take care of said problem area. The issue with this method is that it just doesn’t work that way. In order to lose fat in any one area of the body, you need an exercise routine that consists of cardio and total body strength training in addition to a healthy diet. If you struggle with extra fat in one specific area (hips, tummy, etc.), it’s likely that that particular area is just your first spot to gain weight and your last to lose. Combining a total-body weight training routine with plyometric cardio training will help put you in the fat-burning zone and help you lose that problem area for good!

9. You over-train.

I’d say it’s time for a rest day!

Working out too much, too long or without adequate rest can end up doing more harm than good. If a muscle isn’t given the time it needs to repair itself, it cannot grow stronger. Your body will end up burning more muscle than fat during your workouts, and you will stop seeing results despite the fact that you are training so much.  Instead of working out harder, you need to be working out smarter. Keep your intensity up during workouts, but limit your sessions to under an hour, and make sure you allow yourself one to two recovery days each week.

Happy Training!

 

 

 

Not all Fitness Programs are Created Equal: How to find a trainer or class that’s right for YOU!

It can be hard to hit the gym everyday on your own, especially if you’re just starting out or if it’s been awhile and you want to get back in the habit of exercising on a regular basis. If you’re the kind of person who gets bored easily, has a hard time getting motivated, or you just aren’t sure where to start when it comes to working out, then a personal trainer or group fitness program may be right for you. However, just as how all body types are different, not all trainers are one-size-fits-all. In order to get the benefits of a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, you need to find one that understands your body and your goals, and can come up with a plan specifically tailored to your needs. Before paying for a package of sessions or signing up for a class membership, there are a few things you need to find out first. Use this checklist of things to look for in order to determine which fitness program or personal trainer is right for you.

1. The Proper Certifications

You’d be amazed how many fitness trainers are under-qualified due to either insufficient or complete lack of proper personal training certifications. Many gyms will hire people without certifications, then provide them with a days’ worth of training before letting them loose in the gym. I’ve watched countless trainers teach their clients improper form, or use the same workouts for every client instead of tailoring workouts to each different individual. Make sure your trainer has a current NCCA-accredited certification (it’s ok to ask!). Also, check as to whether the trainer carries professional liability insurance if they are not employed by a fitness facility. This is especially important when signing up with a fitness class or boot camp program that is held somewhere other than a gym or club.

Make sure their training is legit!

2. A “client first” attitude

A good trainer will sit down with you before your first workout and find out about your fitness level, health history, lifestyle, schedule, and goals before prescribing a program. They should ask about any areas of pain that you may have, any health conditions that could affect your abilities, your current weight and BMI, as well as what you are trying to achieve by hiring them. They may also give you a fitness assessment so they can Answer their questions honestly in order to give them a better picture of what they’re working with and how to help you reach your goals.

Be sure your trainer is asking questions!

3. A willingness to listen

I’ve heard people say before that they stopped working with their trainer or dropped their boot camp membership because their instructor simply didn’t understand them. A good trainer listens to their clients and trains each according to their individual fitness level. Not every client can go from 0 to 100 in a day, and their trainer should be able to recognize this and help them progress in a way that’s natural and comfortable for them.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

4. A compatible personality

Just as different methods of learning work for different people, there are different methods of training for everyone too. Some may find that a group fitness class is more fun, while others may prefer the one-on-one approach to working with a personal trainer. Either way, be sure the instructor or trainer is one you can see yourself working with on a regular basis, and that their approach to training is one that you feel will help you reach your goals. Most trainers and fitness programs will offer one free class or session so you can check them out before committing to a membership or package.

You’ll spend a lot of time with your trainer, so be sure you like them!

5. A desire to keep learning

While it’s only required that trainers update their certification every two years, a good trainer is interested in continuing their education. There’s always more to learn in the field of fitness, and there are additional certifications available to trainers such as group fitness, youth fitness, nutrition, metabolic training, and sports conditioning to name a few. Your trainer should want to continue learning about their field in order to provide you with the best fitness counseling possible.

It takes a lot to be a great trainer!

6. The need to practice what they preach!

While this one is somewhat debatable due to the idea that “those who can’t do, teach,” I think it’s important to have a trainer who is passionate about what they do, and demonstrates that through their own personal dedication to health and fitness. Hiring an overweight and out-of-shape trainer would be like going to a dentist with rotten teeth, and most people would certainly never do that! Make sure your trainer recognizes the importance of physical fitness by practicing it in their own life, and not just in their clients’.

Your trainer should care about your health AND theirs!

7. Professionalism

While it’s great to have a trainer who’s personable and comfortable with you, you don’t want a trainer who’s too comfortable and says things that are inappropriate or unprofessional. A trainer should never discuss other clients with you, or bring up questionable topics such as religion, politics, or sex. They should also never demean or insult you, and a trainer of the opposite sex really shouldn’t physically touch you during an exercise. These are all topics that are discussed in personal training certification classes, so your trainer should be well aware of what they can and cannot say and do. If you feel uncomfortable around your personal trainer or fitness instructor, do not feel obligated to continue training with them.

Your trainer should never yell at or insult you!

8. A genuine desire to help you reach your goals

The most important quality a trainer can have is a real desire to help others by training, motivating, tracking progress, and ultimately leading their clients to success. Your trainer should take a genuine interest in you and find the most effective ways to both challenge and motivate you. They should monitor and keep you updated on your progress, and help to challenge you in a way that is positive yet pushes you toward your goals.

Challenge + motivation + positive reinforcement= success!

*All of the trainers at Firefighter Fitness have NCCA accredited certifications in personal training and group fitness, and also serve as Peer Fitness Instructors for their fellow Atlanta area firemen. As firefighters and EMTs themselves, they are highly trained in CPR and injury prevention and treatment. A free introductory class is available to anyone interested in the Firefighter Fitness program, as well as a fitness assessment to help our trainers provide unparalleled fitness instruction to each of our members.

An Extra Excuse to Exercise: 9 Hidden Health Benefits You May Not Know About

We all know that exercise is good for us in many ways. It helps us to manage our weight, burn fat, build strength and endurance, and ultimately helps us to lead longer, healthier lives. But there are also lots of hidden benefits to working out that you may not be as aware of. For example, a recent study conducted by the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University showed that active people take 25 to 50% less sick days per year than those who are sedentary, and they recover from illnesses such as the common cold an average of three days faster than their inactive counterparts. And that’s not all; exercise has been found to reduce the risk of other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancer, and has also been found to reduce symptoms of depression. So if you’re in need of a little extra push to hit the gym this post-holiday week, here are 9 more reasons why you should.

1. Longer Life:

While most people know that exercise helps to combat heart related illnesses and diabetes, it has also been discovered to combat the ongoing damage done to cells in the body over time, which can contribute to other chronic diseases. Regular activity strengthens the immune system, which helps the body to ward off both serious and common ailments. Even people who are not considered to be overweight should be working out for this reason. A survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine found that only 4 out of 10 doctors talk about exercising for longevity with their patients, but it is important that people know that they should be working out not just for weight management, but for a longer life as well. Guidelines developed by the Department of Health and Human Services suggest 2 1/2 hours of moderate physical activity or 1 1/4 hours of vigorous activity per week to get the benefits.

2. Sexier Skin:

Circulation is increased during exercise, which helps blood to deliver nutrients to the skin cells and remove toxins such as free radicals.  This helps to rid the skin of impurities and give you that healthy glow. Just be sure to care for your skin properly during your workout by using sunscreen if exercising outdoors and washing your face post-workout to keep sweat from clogging your pores.

3. A Sunnier Disposition:

You’ve probably heard that exercise releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical, but it can even alleviate symptoms among those who suffer from depression. Studies have proven that clinically depressed people who began an exercise regimen began to feel a significant drop in their symptoms without the use of anti-depressants.

Exercise also decreases the physical and mental symptoms of stress, which can greatly improve your mood. While working out, the hormone norepinephrine is released, which moderates the brain’s response to stress, helping you to stay positive under pressure.

Finally, exercise can give your self-esteem a boost. Regardless of your weight, size, or how recently you started a new fitness routine, working out improves your perception of your own attractiveness. And when we feel like we look good, we tend to feel good too.

4. A Brain Boost:

Regular physical activity actually increases cell production in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is the part responsible for learning and memory. Studies in children have discovered that kids who are more active tend to do better in school, and this finding translates to adults too, especially later on in life. Exercise can help prevent cognitive decline and keep our minds sharp as we age. It can even help prevent cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

5. Productivity Power:

Along with the mental benefits of exercise like reduced stress and mental sharpness, increased productivity is another great result of physical fitness. Workers who exercise regularly are proven to be more productive and have more energy throughout the day than their less active co-workers. They’re also more creative; exercise has been found to increase creativity for up to tw0 hours post-workout. Who needs a better reason to hit the gym during lunch today?!

6. A More…Regular Schedule:

It sounds weird (and kind of gross!) but physical activity increases contractions in the intestinal walls, which in turn helps move things along the intestinal tract more quickly, keeping you more regular and helping to prevent constipation and the stomachaches and bloating that goes along with it.

He never misses a workout!

7. A Sound Sleep:

Like diet and exercise, sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. For many Americans however, falling asleep and staying asleep can be a struggle, especially with busy schedules and daily to-do lists getting in the way. As part of a study conducted at Northwestern University, participants were asked to rate their quality of sleep before beginning an exercise regimen and then again after they began working out regularly. The ratings went from poor quality of sleep to good quality in almost all of the participants, and they also reported lower levels of drowsiness during the day. Exercise also helps reduce stress levels, which in turn can help you to clear your mind when it’s time to hit the sheets.

8. Healthier Habits:

After a serious sweat session at the gym, you’re not likely to head straight to McDonald’s for a double cheeseburger and fries, right? After all, who would want to undo all that hard work? When you exercise, you tend to feel healthier, and in turn you want to do other healthy things such as eating better and watching your portion sizes. It’s true that diet and exercise need to go hand in hand, but it’s so much easier to get your diet on track when you’re logging in quality time at the gym.

9. New Friends:

It’s always great to meet new people, and joining a fitness class or boot camp can be a great way to meet others with similar interests in weight loss and fitness. By having people to talk to about your goals, share healthy recipes, and hold you accountable to come to the classes, you’ll be more likely to stick with a program and you’ll have a few new friends to boot. The goal at Firefighter Fitness is to create a community of people who can help each other reach their goals, and have fun doing it!

 

 

 

 

Beach Body Boot Camp: The 20 Minute Workout Session you can do on the Sand

If you plan to hit the beach for a few days this summer, the one thing you may not have access to while away from home is a gym. And while working out is not exactly top priority while relaxing on vacation, it is a good idea to try and fit in a little exercise if and when you can. Believe it or not, the beach is actually a great place for a workout, as the sand provides added resistance while jogging or running. So if you do plan to exercise while at the beach this summer, here are a few moves you can do; no equipment needed. All you need is a towel, beach chair, water bottle, and a flat section of beach to work out on. This routine only takes about 20 minutes, but is designed to raise your heart rate and work your muscles without using weights or weight machines.

Warm up by taking a 5 minute stroll along the beach.

1. Sand Sprints:

Find an area of the beach that’s relatively flat and unpopulated. Estimate and mark off about a 30-40 yard section.

Perform 6-12 sprints (depending on your fitness level), resting 30-60 seconds in between.

 

2. Bridge & Curl:

Lie faceup on the ground, arms at your sides, with knees bent and feet flat. Squeeze a rolled up beach towel behind your knees.

Keeping knees tucked, curl hips off ground and bring knees toward chest.

Return feet to ground, then lift hips so that body forms a straight line from knees to chest.

Lower to start, repeat for one minute.

3. Beach Chair Leg Lifts:

Place hands on either side of a beach chair or bench with legs extended behind you and feet together on the ground (as if in plank position).

Keeping hips level, lift left leg out to one side as high as possible.

Return to start, switch legs, and repeat to complete one rep. To make it harder, do a pushup after each rep.

Repeat for one minute.

4. Chair Crunches:

Start in pushup position with hands shoulder-width apart on the seat of your beach chair with legs extended behind you and feet on the ground.

Lifting right hand off chair, rotate body to the right into side plank position; rest right foot on top of left foot and reach right arm overhead, balancing body on left arm and foot.

Bring right knee and right elbow together at chest level. Hold for three counts. Return to side plank position.

Repeat for one minute on each side.

5. Towel Row Hold:

Roll up a beach towel and place under left foot, holding sides with both hands. Bend left knee with right leg extending out behind you (lunge position).

Squeeze your shoulderblades together. Using your hands and keeping elbows bent in row position, pull chest toward the ground as hard as you can, and hold for five counts.

Release and switch sides. Repeat, alternating sides, for two minutes.

6. One-legged Squat with Shoulder Press:

Stand on left foot with right foot out in front of you, a few inches off the ground. Hold onto the back of a chair with your left hand and hold a water bottle in your right.

Bend left knee and lower into one-legged squat. As you press back up, push right arm up into overhead press.

Do 15 reps, then switch legs. Do four to five sets on each side.

6. Pushups:

Lay a towel down on the sand, and perform 10-20 pushups (adjust according to your fitness level). Do four sets, resting 30 seconds in between. To make it harder, throw in 25 air squats or 25 jumping jacks in between sets of pushups.

Now go relax on the beach…You earned it!

Why Waste Your Time at the Gym? 7 Workouts that Aren’t Worth Their Weight

Want to put in countless hours at the gym and see little to no results? If you answered no (and I’m guessing that you did!), then you probably want to know which workouts train the most muscle groups and burn the most calories in the least amount of time, right? Given that most of us don’t have three hours a day to devote to the gym, I’d say most of us would say yes. But it’s hard to know which exercises to do (and not do!) when you don’t know where to start. Watching other people at the gym is no help, especially considering that improper form and ineffective exercises can be spotted among even the fittest-looking of gym-goers. I’ve even spotted trainers coaching clients through exercises that are useless or even potentially dangerous. To help you navigate the weight room maze of barbells, dumbells, and crazy contraptions, I’ve compiled a list of workouts and weight machines that you shouldn’t use, and what to do instead.

  • The Leg Curl/Leg Extension Machines: What I dislike about the leg curl and leg extension machines is that they really only work one muscle at a time; the leg curl is meant to work the hamstrings, and the leg extension works the quadriceps. This means you’re spending twice the time when you could choose an exercise that works both muscles along with the glutes. Another potential problem with these machines is that they put pressure on the knees, which could injure the joints. When adjusted properly and used in conjunction with other leg exercises, these machines aren’t necessarily all bad, there are just better leg workouts out there. Lunges and squats are more effective as they work more muscles and require more effort to perform.

leg machines

  • Abdominal Machines: In my opinion, these machines are worthless. While I do think that ab exercises are a good addition to your workout routine in order to strengthen your core, I have found that for me personally, the ab machines at the gym are too hard to adjust to my size, so they end up forcing improper movements that are hard on my back. There are many other core exercises out there that are more effective yet don’t require all that heavy machinery. The plank is my personal favorite, but the only real way to get that six-pack is to get rid of the belly fat that covers it, through cardio and a healthy diet.

ab machine

  • Lat Pulldowns behind the head: You’ve probably seen people do this variation on the lat pulldown; pulling the bar down behind their head instead of in front of their chest. Most people lack the flexibility needed to do this without causing injury, as it works the shoulders at an unnatural angle. This move can tear your rotator cuff over time, and puts undue stress on the spine. It’s best just to avoid this one altogether, and stick with traditional lat pulldowns.

lat pulldown

  • Upright Barbell Row: This one is debatable since the motion of the upright row is not unnatural and could be performed during daily activities, but most trainers will tell you to skip it. The reason is that the internal rotation of the arms during the exercise can cause inflammation and pain in the shoulder joints. A recommend exercise to do instead is a dumbbell front raise. It works the shoulders without causing stress to the joints.

upright row

  • The Elliptical: I had to throw in this particular cardio machine because I’ve seen countless people in the gym stay on this thing for an hour a day and yet never seem to lose any weight. Here’s why: it’s too damn easy. Now, if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you suffer from joint pain, or you just use it for a few minutes pre or post workout to warm up/cool down, then it can be useful to your routine. For most of us, however, it simply doesn’t challenge our bodies enough to be worth the time spent. Don’t trust the calorimeter on the machine; those really aren’t accurate when it comes to determining how many calories you’re burning. Your weight, metabolism, and level of fitness are all factors that determine how your body burns calories. If you want to maximize your calorie burn, substitute the elliptical for the row machine or alternating sprints on the treadmill.

elliptical

While these are a few exercises that I recommend skipping altogether, any exercise can be ineffective or injurious if performed improperly. The best way to know if you’re doing them right is to do your research or find a certified trainer who can help. Trainers at franchised gyms and trendy fitness clubs often lack the proper certifications and may not be the best resource if you really want to see results.

*The trainers at Firefighter Fitness pride themselves on being NCCA certified personal trainers as well as Peer Fitness Trainers for firefighters in Atlanta. As firemen themselves, they are also EMTs who are educated in the prevention and proper treatment of injuries.