Much like massage therapy, not all workouts come with the same health benefits or results. In fact, simply going to the gym and going through the motions of treadmill, stretching, weights with little purpose or thought will most likely leave you disappointed in the lack of results. Exercise routines need to be structured but varied, working different areas of the body and aimed at specific goals. Mixing up cardio with strength and flexibility makes a workout more diverse and therefore more effective. Use a Metabolic Equivalent of Task chart (METs) to help you put together a superior workout routine!
METs are a way of measuring how many calories or how much energy an activity requires. Basically, one MET is the energy it takes to sit quietly, and each activity is measured against this baseline. For example, running at a pace of twelve minutes/mile has an MET of 8.5, meaning that this activity will expend 8.5 times as much energy as sitting in a chair requires. Check out an activity table that includes more workouts on this Harvard webpage. Use this resource to make sure that you are challenging yourself during your exercises because this is the only way to get results. However, it’s important to remember that these numbers are ballpark averages – people have different levels of fitness and have different strengths. Someone who is able to bench press seventy-five pounds may not be able to run three miles straight. It’s important that you know your own body and use these numbers as guides to put together a work out that will challenge you and get you the health results you’re looking for. Don’t just go through the motions - create a better workout this spring!