How hard is hard enough?

Starting off another week at the gym. It was crowded today which irritates me, ’cause I like to be able to use a machine when I’m ready to use it without waiting, but at the same time motivating, I get to see what other folks do in their routines. My groin injury has healed and I’m back to exercising normally. I try to vary my workouts in terms of cardio & strength training, but sometimes I wonder if I’m putting in enough work. I always feel like I could’ve walked faster on the treadmill, jogged a little bit longer, or pulled a heavier weight.

Today I did an hour of cardio. Sometimes I’ll do an hour on the treadmill or elliptical or I may break it up between one or two activities depending on my mood and how my body is feeling at the time. Lucky I have access to an employee gym which has a good selection of machines for strength training. I’ve been working it out on the chest presses, deltoids & leg presses, and of course the abductor & adductor machines. There are some free weights, but their dumbbells only go up to a max of 10lbs. If I want to do any heavier weights I have to do those exercises at home.

About a week ago I started using an iphone app called My Fitness Pal to keep track of my food intake and exercise. It’s good having all your activities documented to see exactly what you’re doing and what impact it’s having. You start with a daily target calorie consumption. By documenting your meals & exercise, the app keep tabs of your calories consumed vs. calories burned. The only complaint I have with it is that the food calculations & exercise calorie counts are not always the most accurate. It’s definitely making me more aware of what I’m eating, especially when I document it in the app and I see the calorie count calculated. I also can see when I need to increase the exercise. Over time the app keeps track of your progress and you can even invite friends to install the app on their smartphones and form a buddy system.

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