Finishing up a workout is one of the best feelings ever – even though the exercise itself may not have been fun or easy, you know that you’ve made a positive step in the right direction toward a healthy life, your body feels good, and you feel accomplished.
However, if you are the doer of one of the 8 bad exercise habits below, you may be actually harming yourself instead of helping yourself. Check out the list and break any of these bad habits before it’s too late!
Not staying hydrated
It is incredibly important for exercisers to drink a lot of water before, during, and after a workout. After all, the human body is made up of more than 50 percent water! Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself and flushing out toxins that have built up. By failing to stay hydrated, you risk becoming lightheaded, exhaustion, and accidents. Avoid dehydration by taking advantage of those many water fountains scattered throughout your gym!
Forming unrealistic expectations
Developing a healthy lifestyle is a long-term commitment that you must continually nurture. By beginning a new workout routine with unrealistic expectations, you’ll end up pushing yourself too hard and fade fast. Don’t expect to lose 4–5 kg in one week, or assume that you’ll get 6-pack abs after a few hours. Establish reasonable goals that are attainable and lifelong.
Not eating enough
Although many people exercise to lose weight, it’s essential to remember that your body needs proper fuel to work out, in addition to ample replenishing post-workout. Fasting before or after a workout can have negative effects, such as leaving you with a low blood sugar level and feeling tired. This can lead to shorter, less intense, and less effective workouts than if you were to eat appropriately.
Forgoing a warm up
Although often neglected, warming up before you work out is absolutely necessary. Even if you feel fine before exercising, a full-body warm-up routine will get you prepared for your workout, as well as help restore your body during and after exercise. Don’t risk injury or having an achy body during the next few days by not adequately warming up.
If you complete workout after workout without feeling that satisfying burn, you are probably undertraining – that is, not pushing yourself to your full potential. Perhaps you have incorrect form or bad posture when you exercise, or you are speeding through your reps, leaving your muscles unchallenged. Fix this bad habit by working harder and more accurately to strengthen your body.
Overtraining is – you guessed it – the opposite of undertraining. When you overtrain, you go into crazy workout overload, and risk harming your body more than doing it some good. You don’t want to risk pulled muscles or drop a huge bar of weights, so avoid it by not pushing yourself too hard. Listen to your body and stop when you know you’re overdoing it.
Sitting between sets
The key to burning fat and killing calories is to keep your heart rate elevated throughout your whole workout. As tempting as it can be to take a lengthy breather between your reps, try to keep your breaks as short as you can. However, if you are feeling lightheaded or generally not well, by all means, stop what you’re doing and rest!
Sticking with the same thing
A lot of people get stuck in workout ruts, where they do the same exercise routines again and again. Not only does this get boring, but it stops being as effective to your muscles since they get used to the movements. Be sure to switch up your routine for maximum body benefit, and incorporate both strength training and cardio into your workout.
Are you guilty of any of these bad workout habits? What have you done to break these habits? Let us know in the comments!