The good news is that you have made a commitment of time and effort to a regular exercise regimen. The bad news is, after several weeks or even months of working out, you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for. Chances are that you could be committing some common workout mistakes that can sabotage your best exercise intentions. Here are some tips that can help you avoid these fitness faux pas. Fortunately, most workout mistakes are fixable.
Dress for success.
Be sure you choose the right pair of shoes for your exercise routine or sport and select comfortable, breathable clothing that is appropriate for the season. For women, invest in a properly fitted, well-designed sports bra. Also, remember function before fashion. You can still look good while you work out, but don’t sacrifice practicality for pretty.
Don’t forget to warm up and cool down.
Taking the time to properly warm up and cool down is imperative to a safe and successful workout. Like any other worthwhile endeavor, how you start and how you finish are equally as important as what you do in the middle. Warming up and cooling down are imperative to maximize your effort, prevent injury and promote healthy recovery.
Work the plan.
Develop a workout plan that is designed to meet your goals and that includes basic elements of fitness training. Make sure your routine includes aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching. If you don’t know where to start, seek the advice of a personal trainer and always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.
Listen to your body.
When you are tired, sick or have over-exerted yourself, you risk injury if you continue to ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Give yourself a break and allow your body to rest and recover.
You don’t expect your car to run on fumes and neither can your body. If you think you can jump-start your weight loss by skipping your pre-workout meal or snack you are asking for trouble. To complete a high-intensity workout and recover afterward, your body needs to be properly fueled and hydrated.
Switch it up.
To continue to improve your fitness level and avoid getting burned out on the same routine, switch up your workout plan. Vary your exercises, the weight you lift and/or the pace and length of your runs.
Sure you want to be competitive when you show up at the starting line of your next race, but when you are working out and training, you should be concerned with your own performance, not the guy next to you at the gym. Don’t compare yourself to others. No two bodies are the same.
Before you start a new exercise plan or try new equipment at the gym, make sure you are doing it properly. That’s where a trainer can really come in handy. If you are not performing an exercise move properly or use incorrect form on a machine, not only will you not get the desired result, you could be risking injury.
Get your zzzz’s.
Adults 18 to 60 years old need at least seven hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in production of glycogen and carbohydrates that are stored for energy use during physical activity. Getting enough sleep is critical to good fitness, good eating and good overall health.
Sure it’s hard to roll out of bed and make it to the gym before work. But if you start giving in to the little voice in your head that is feeding you excuses why you should punt, you’ll never reach your goals. Hold yourself accountable. If the problem is the time of day you are exercising, change it. If you’re bored with your routine, switch it up. Just keep going and you’ll be richly rewarded.