We all take shortcuts in life for a number of reasons, especially when we’re short on time. Finding ways to save a few minutes and some undue stress is often smart.
But when it comes to taking gym shortcuts, there’s a right time and a wrong time for this type of problem-solving strategy. Let’s review when it’s okay and when it’s better to take the so-called “long way” during your workout.
When is it okay to take gym shortcuts?
- Not wiping down equipment: Have you ever wanted to use a bench or piece of equipment, only to find that it’s covered in someone’s sweat? It’s pretty gross, right? Most of us face the decision to clean or not to clean after we use gym equipment. Is it okay to take a shortcut in the gym here? Take a few extra seconds to clean your equipment. Gym equipment can collect a host of bacteria and germs that are easily passed along if it’s not cleaned.
- Skipping your warm-up: It’s easy to jump right into your workout, and there’s quite the debate about whether it’s okay to skip your warm-up. Warm-ups help prepare your body for a workout and minimize the possibility of injury. But doing certain stretches as a warm-up has actually been shown to pre-fatigue muscles and increases the risk of injury! I’d suggest listening to your body and easing into a workout, skipping over static-type stretches and instead doing movements similar to what you’re going to be focusing on during your workout.
- Not inputting your stats on a cardio machine: It’s absolutely okay to take this shortcut in the gym! Most machines will not give you an accurate assessment of how many calories you burned and shouldn’t be relied on.