Maximizing your workout: the readiness is all

Mon May 17, 2010 6:04am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - There's working out, and then there's working out wisely.

Experts say when it comes to making the most of your exercise time, fitness favors the focused mind and the prepared body.

"Presence yourself in your workout. Prepare your internal environment" said Kerri O'Brien, director of the educational and training arm of Life Fitness, the fitness equipment manufacturer.

"If you walk in thinking, ‘Ok I just need to get from point A to point B and get it done,' that's not maximizing. You're not focusing on whether you're tightening the core or working the muscles," she said.

And because the strongest spirit falters if the flesh is weak, O'Brien says make sure you eat something, preferably a small carbohydrate snack, about 45 minutes before exercising, even if weight loss is your goal.

"Calories in, calories out is a great fundamental equation to work by, she said, "but are you familiar with the adage, ‘Fat burns in a carbohydrate flame?' If your body is in starvation mode when you start working out, it will hold back."

Post-workout she suggests something higher in protein.

"When you're working out you're actually breaking down muscle fibers," O'Brien said. "This is a good thing, because the body will repair the muscles to be stronger. That repairing requires protein."   Continued...