We’ve all got our own funny ways, but when it comes to exercise, has it ever occurred to you that you could have picked up some bad habits that are totally sabotaging all your hard work and best intentions?
Let’s look at the 7 bad fitness habits you really need to break.
If you don’t change how you exercise, it can become boring and stale. You then start to skip sessions or take shortcuts.
Doing the same old workout week in, week out could really derail your best intentions, so mix it up. Try a new class, ask the gym instructor to show you a new workout or alter your running or walking routes. Maybe try changing the time of day or day of the week you exercise, and don’t forget to refresh that playlist that helps you power through.
Overeating After a Workout
While it’s great to enjoy the odd treat guilt-free, it’s very easy to over estimate the calories you have burned, replacing them and then some. Kind of defeats the object of all your hard work, especially if you are trying to lose a few pounds.
Don’t Skip the Warmups
Your warmup is as important as the exercise itself. If you haven’t prepared your body for some exercise you are leaving yourself open to injuries.
A good warmup gets the blood pumping, making your muscles ready for your workout. It also raises your heartbeat slowly, rather than giving it an unexpected jump-start. You’ll also be increasing your flexibility and ensuring you are mentally prepared for the activity you’re about to start.
OK, so you might be trying to burn some calories – we get that. But a car won’t complete a journey on an empty tank and your body won’t thank you for a workout if you are down on fuel. Working out on an empty stomach could even derail your motivation and performance.
Give your body the fuel it needs to perform efficiently by making sure you are well hydrated. If you going to have a meal, make sure it’s 2-3 hours before the workout. Ideally it would contain carbs, protein and fat. Lighter meals, such as cereal, are fine as you get closer, or if you want to grab something on the way to the gym, try a handful of raisins or a banana.
OK, so we all love a lazy Saturday or Sunday, but don’t be a total lazy bones over the weekend. Resist the temptation to spend the weekend chilling on the sofa.
Keep the energy levels up over the weekend. Try a bike ride with the kids or a walk with the dog to keep the laziness at bay and you’ll feel so much better on a Monday morning for it.
Put Your Phone Away
Phones are a distraction at the best of times, but in the gym they are a menace. They will tempt you on the treadmill as they try and persuade you to check texts and emails, when really your full focus should be on your workout.
It’s OK to use an app to help you or provide the music, but turn off the notifications and silence those calls. Nobody wants to hear your ringtone or your conversation – they are trying to focus on their own workouts. What’s the point in spending an hour in the gym if you are going to spend most of that time in a WhatsApp chat with your mates?
You’re too Sociable
Workout partners are great – perfect for helping you set up weights, counting reps and providing motivation. But if you are spending more time in the coffee shop or chatting, then they are diluting your hard work.
It’s very easy to strike up conversations as you swim or pound the treadmill, but if you are able to chat, you probably aren’t working hard enough. By all means train with a buddy, but if they are less than helpful then maybe it’s time to put your headphones back on.
If you have recognised yourself slipping into any of these bad habits, nip them in the bud now and get your routines back on track. Keep up the good work and give yourself a big pat on the back for staying motivated.