Don’t let exercise errors stand in your way

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Are you cardio equipment lets you “cheat” and contributes to slouching. It also keeps you from moving your arms — which can boost your heart rate and burn extra calories. If loosening your grip makes you feel insecure, try this technique Pillarella teaches at Community Hospital Fitness Pointe in Munster, Ind. “Instead of gripping, just rest your fingers, from your index finger to the pinkie, on the bars. As you get more comfortable, drop a finger. Eventually, you may have just the index fingers resting there for security.”

3. Catching up on your reading. If you’re doing lots of reading on the elliptical machine, you’re probably not getting a good workout, says Julie Isphording, host of the radio shows Fitness Information Talk and On Your Feet.

“If you must read, stop about every three minutes and do a four-minute focus interval,” she says. During this interval, “concentrate on picking up the pace, dropping your shoulders, breathing, and using your arms.”

4. Walking with weights. Carrying hand weights when you walk might seem like a good way to add lifting weights, meanwhile, you risk torn muscles and won’t be able to lift as much weight, says Isphording. Get your muscle spasms or aches.

“If you’re thirsty, you’re already a percent dehydrated,” says Pillarella. “Drink water before, during, and after exercise.”

And, Pillarella says, “unless you’re a high-intensity athlete who’s depleting potassium, you don’t need Gatorade. Water is the preferred drink.”