Here are more tips to help you maximize your efficiency while exercising.

Breathe: You don’t want to faint do you? I didn’t think so. Breathing is very important and yet many people subconsciously hold their breath while working out. With Zumba this is less of a problem, but while running on the treadmill or lifting weights many people forgetting to breathe and lose consciousness.

Know your goal: Different exercises will get you different results. Basically, if you want to build muscle, then use weights. However, if you want to tone your muscles then follow a regimen that incorporates running, Zumba and Pilates.

Don’t workout on an empty stomach: Sluggish, irritable, and hungry is no way to go to the gym. Before going, have some fruit or an energy bar. If you are hungrier, then have a sandwich. However, portion size is important and as a general rule of thumb; large meals should be eaten four hours before working out, two-three hours for a small meal, and an hour if you’re going to eat a small snack. This will give you the energy you need without overeating and feeling weighed down.

Music: Bring your MP3 player with you and make a good workout playlist. Music is great to help make a workout more fun, but more importantly it can keep you on a schedule without becoming a slave to the clock. Create a playlist that is timed to your work-out with music that is matched to your intensity. Start off with music that slowly builds up in intensity and then winds down for your “cool-off” phase.

These are only a handful of tips to help maximize your gym exercise. Check back for more in upcoming weeks. Feel free to comment and add your own if you think of any others.