We all know how hard it is to stick with a workout routine. From early morning yoga classes to leg day after work, the last thing we want is to make it harder on ourselves.
To ensure you’re getting the most out of your gym sessions, here are some workout mistakes you might be making and why you should fix them.
1. Not taking a rest day.
The idea is quality over quantity. Working out too frequently can backfire on your muscles. It’s important to appreciate recovery time and allow your body to rebuild and get stronger.
And rest day can mean going for a walk or stretching in the morning because it’s great to stay active every day. But skipping rest day altogether and pushing yourself too frequently can lead to a plateau in weight loss, exhaustion, and you’ll actually be working harder than you need to.
2. Skipping warm ups and cool downs.
It’s easy to jump straight into your workout but the most effective way to avoid injuries is warming up first. Your warm up should vary depending on the training you’ll be doing, but it can be as simple as doing squats, arms circles, and jumping jacks -- anything to increase your heart rate.
And just as important as warming up, cooling down after exercising shouldn’t be overlooked. Taking ten extra minutes to stretch out and return your heart rate to a normal speed will help you feel less soreness and see better results.
3. Focusing on only one muscle group.
If you’re only working out to get a six pack, you’re definitely not getting the most out of your gym time. All your muscles are connected and making sure you’re working on everything not only gives you aesthetic results, it’ll give you more balance.
Tip: Hiring a personal trainer to help with your routine is a great start and you’ll see that full body workouts define those abs, too.
4. Expecting immediate results.
Many people fall off their exercise kick when they’re not seeing immediate results. But patience is key when it comes to working out. You won’t see results right away and that’s normal. It’s better to aim for consistency and creating healthy habits that are everlasting.
Try focusing on the different reasons to exercise apart from what you look like. Making your workouts about disease prevention, mood elevation, and general well-being are good ways to take the pressure off of seeing immediate results so that you stick to it.
5. Doing too much cardio.
Cardio workouts like running or elliptical training are great for heart health and definitely should have a place in your workout routine. But doing too much cardio can actually start burning muscle instead of fat.
Complimenting your cardio training with weights and resistance training is important so that you’re building muscle (which by the way, will burn body fat in the meantime).
6. Underestimating the importance of nutrition.
If you’re working out like crazy but your diet is awful, you won’t be reaping the benefits from the countless hours you’ve been spending on exercise.
Also, proper hydration is key and huge part of good nutrition. Our bodies are made up of 80% water and replenishing those reserves will feed your muscles and keep you going strong.