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Is exercise effective?

Published on May 23, 2017

Is exercise effective?

Dustin Henkelman, Exercise Coach
CentraCare Weight Management

Is exercise effective?It can be very simple to determine if you’ve had an effective workout or workout program. The use of a few elementary metrics and some simple recordkeeping can mean the difference between your efforts being met with frustration or with satisfaction.

It is common to default to subjective metrics such as sweating, being tired or muscle soreness as our indicator of success in a given workout or workout program.

I find soreness and, specifically, pain to be key indicators of how a workout is going… Typically that it’s not going well. But I’d take pause in using them to indicate how successfully your time was used.

Stick with numbers. Simple metrics like the number of gym visits you manage this week, the number of repetitions at a certain weight in a certain exercise or the number of minutes or miles on the cardio machine are far more likely to indicate successful efforts. The subjective measures listed above shouldn’t be done away with altogether. Compared to the objective measures I just mentioned, they can provide meaningful feedback.

But, being sweaty might only mean that it is humid. Numbers, or metrics in this case, have less factors that can make them skewed. Also, taking this approach to determine whether or not the exercise you are doing is effective, can make it much more motivating as you can see yourself (and your program) progressing and have statistical data to prove it — rather than just a feeling.

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