You huff and puff through cardio sessions, but that darned scale won’t budge. Surprise! Your workout might be to blame. We talked to trainers and exercise physiologists across the country and discovered six surprising ways your well-intentioned fitness routines might not match your weight loss goals.
“Many women assume that 30 minutes of exercise will change their bodies, but it’s not automatic,” says Geralyn Coopersmith, global director of performance and fitness training at Nike. “If you’re focused and smart about how you use that half hour, you will be amazed by your results.”
Here is what to do—and what not to do—to get the results you want.
1. You sacrifice good form.
It’s important to focus on your form, even if that means lowering the intensity. “You recruit fewer muscles and burn fewer calories when you’re slouched over,” Coopersmith says. Same goes for strength training, says James Levine, PhD, a scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ, whose research found that standing while lifting weights boosts your burn by about 50 calories per half hour. Best of all, one study shows that good posture allows you to take in more oxygen, so your workout feels easier even while you’re blasting more calories.