Here are a few important things to AVOID if you’re looking to achieve RESULTS!
1. Treating yourself after your workout.
Unfortunately, working out is not a free pass to indulge in a burger and fries right after you’re done. Now, please don’t misunderstand! I’m definitely not saying that you can never enjoy a treat. That would be ridiculous! But justifying eating high-calorie foods just because you worked out isn’t the best choice if you are trying to get in shape or lose weight. It will cancel out all your hard work, and for someone like yourself who is looking to achieve results, it’s counterproductive.
Instead of treating yourself with food, why not try rewarding yourself in other ways that won’t impact your progress and are even more POSITIVE! For example, buying yourself a new pair of Nike’s, purchasing a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or taking time for a relaxing bubble bath. Self love is SO important, especially through any process where we are striving for self-improvement. So let’s make it count in the best way possible, and let’s ensure that the reward aligns with the result we are working so hard towards, rather than potentially setting you back!
2. Doing the same workout every time you hit the gym.
Variety in a workout program is key to getting results. Not only does changing up your workout routine prevent you from hitting plateaus (by avoiding physiological adap, it also increases the likelihood that you’ll enjoy–and therefore adhere–to your workout routine.
Research actually shows that individuals who switch up their routine more often achieve greater and more sustainable results! Exercise scientists at the University of Florida observed that individuals who modified their workouts every two weeks over an eight-week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more and were more inclined to stick with their exercise programs when compared to individuals who followed the same workout regimens week after week. Varying your exercise routine can also help you stay physically challenged. Many of the body’s physiological systems (e.g., the muscular system) adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks. If you do not modify your exercise routine, you reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.
So you’re probably wondering, how the heck am I supposed to know what to do now?!?!
Well, I’m glad you asked! There are many ways you can spice up your workout routine. If you tend to stick with steady-state cardio, one way you can change things up is to alternate periods of faster-paced, more intense work, with slower-paced periods of exercise. Interval work is a GREAT way to burn fat and add a fun challenge to your routine.
If you’re an avid weight lifter, try changing the sequence of exercises you do or vary the tempo of the exercises. Even these small changes can make HUGE difference!
Bottom line, it’s best to keep things fresh and interesting so that you remain motivated and excited about the process!
3. Not planning your workouts ahead of time.
Planning is crucial to achieving any goal. I know things can get crazy hectic when you have school, a family, work, etc., but if you truly want to achieve your fitness goals (whatever they may be) you HAVE to make it a priority in your schedule. Block out 3 chunks of time in your week to workout, and MAKE it happen. If you don’t make exercise a priority in your life, something else is going to inevitably take its place.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “That sounds GREAT, but I don’t have 3 hours a week to workout…” then I want you to start small. We are creating a habit here! You will see, little by little, week after week, how important this time becomes to you. Especially once you start seeing RESULTS!
Start off by planning three 10 minute sessions into your weekly schedule. You can walk, run stairs, do bodyweight exercises… Whatever floats your boat! Just commit to action and GET STARTED!
4. Having Unrealistic Expectations.
As much as we all wish we could get 6-pack abs in a 30 minute workout.. It just doesn’t work that way. Expecting instant results is a recipe for disaster and all you’re doing is setting yourself up for disappointment. If you ask anyone you know who is “fit” and somehow always seems to stay fit… They will tell you that consistency is key and that their results did not magically appear overnight. Nope. Rome wasn’t built in a day folks!
Expecting quick results is also very de-motivating. To stay motivated, try setting realistic performance-based goals for yourself. Things like running a mile, being able to do 10 bodyweight pushups, or deadlifting your bodyweight are examples of great goals to motivate you and keep you focused and having fun in any fitness program.
5. Not reaching your goals because you only ever reach for the pink dumbbells.
Pink is a nice color. I actually like it a lot. The problem is that most of the time, the pink dumbbells range from 0-5 pounds. Carrying your baby around is more taxing than using the pink dumbbells, am I right?
When you are working out, intensity is key to getting quicker and more satisfying results. You want to lose fat? Then you’re going to have to lift a little heavier. Now, I’m not saying go lift a truck every time you workout. But I want you to feel some sort of resistance when you’re lifting weights. Lifting heavier weights is what’s going to give you that “toned and tight” look you want.
Not only that, but lifting weights actually increases your metabolism by building lean muscle and leaves you burning calories hours after your workout (even if you’re lounging on the couch… Ummm, yes please!!)! And no, weight-lifting is NOT going to make you big and bulky.
And if you need yet another reason to pick up the weights? Recent research has shown a significant decrease in risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among women who lift weights. If you’re just starting out, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing strength training twice weekly, in the 8-12 rep range.
Bottom line: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!
To sum all of this up… YOU’VE GOT TO MAKE A CHOICE TO MAKE A CHANGE.
A fit body is earned through active daily lifestyle choices. You’ve got to WANT IT and you’ve got to be willing to do what it takes to GET IT. Some of the choices that you will need to make will ultimately push you out of your comfort zone. But if you’re here reading this, then let’s get real honest: You’re not comfortable in that zone anyways, are you?!
The good news is this: If you can commit to your goals by avoiding these 5 fitness mishaps, you’re already well on your way to a brand new YOU! And not just a you that you can be comfortable with, but a you that you can be PROUD OF!!!
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