Whether you do it before work, on your lunch break, or after work, chances are you claim to spend a solid hour or more on exercise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends people get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, with a general goal of at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. A trip to the gym requires a great deal of preparation from packing your workout clothes to preparing the fluids that will hydrate you throughout that one- or two-hour session. In a gym-goer’s duffel bag lay the culprits that contribute to 35 percent of wasted time on each one-hour gym visit, according to a United Kingdom recent survey.
Harpers Fitness, a U.K.-based health and fitness facility, conducted a survey that asked 1,000 gym members how they spent their time at the gym, aside from exercise. The survey was very revealing about some bad habits that more than half of gym-goers engage in during their daily gym visit. Only 39 percent of every hour is spent on exercise, while the rest is spent doing non-exercise activities found Kevin Yeats, head of fitness for Harpers. "We wanted to get an idea of what our members are spending time on at the gym — apart from exercise — and this survey has revealed some time-consuming habits," Yates told the Daily Mail. The amount of time spent getting ready for the gym often burns more time at the gym than the actual amount of calories.
The findings of the survey found the average gym-goer spent more time filling their water bottles, chatting up fellow exercise buddies, adjusting clothes, and choosing music on their iPods. Fifty-five percent of gym members reported fiddling around with their iPod or MP3 player to choose the music they wanted to work out to, while 30 percent admitted to taking as long as ten minutes to fix their headphones for their electronic devices.
Going to the gym with a friend could also potentially jeopardize your workout regimen. A third of the survey respondents admitted to stopping their workout routine to talk to other gym buddies. If the gym-goers were not talking to people at the gym, they were most likely cyber chatting, as the survey also revealed other bad gym habits such as, checking their phones for missed calls, text messages, and e-mails.
“Your time at the gym shouldn't be spent untangling headphones, choosing music, or checking your phone, and we hope this makes gym-goers more aware of the time they spend exercising and the time they spend not exercising,” said Yates. These time-consuming habits interfere with exercise and can as a result limit the benefits of exercising and delay desired results. The survey respondents claim to spend up to two hours exercising between two to four times a week, but when these bad gym habits are taken into account, the amount of actual physical activity is much less.
To get the most out of your exercise at the gym, Yates recommends having a preset playlist before leaving the house and turning cell phones off. For a workout inspiration playlist, visit Fitness Magazine’s Top 100 Workout Songs list.