Zoning Out Instead of Honing In
So you climb on the exercise bike and lose yourself in a magazine? You may battle boredom, but you won't burn as many calories or challenge your muscles as much as when you focus your mind solely on exercising, says Michael Meyers, PhD, director of the human performance research laboratory at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
The Right Way
The Wrong Way
- To set the seat height, put your heel on the pedal. When your foot is at the lowest point, your leg should be almost, but not completely, straight.
- Your upper body should be relaxed, with your elbows just slightly bent. Your arms should in no way interfere with the motion of your knees.
- Place your hands lightly on top of the handlebars instead of gripping them tightly.
- Flipping through a book or magazine while pedaling.
- Positioning the seat too low so that your legs are cramped, or setting it so high that you have to pedal on your tiptoes.
- Crouching over the handlebars like Lance Armstrong.