So, you've had the same fitness workout plan for years and are comfortable with it, but are you too comfortable?
You are able to keep your weight steady, but you haven't seem much more gain in your overall fitness and leanness. Or, maybe you are new to the exercise world and are looking for a workout plan that promises long-term results. Wherever you are at or hope to be, it is crucial to understand where you may be led astray.
Are you making these rookie mistakes when exercising? Avoid the common pitfalls and you'll be better off because of it.
1. More is Better
Exercise brings with it all kinds of benefits, from mental to bodily health. So, doing more of it would mean you’d benefit more, right? Wrong. If you are fierce about your fitness goals, all the more power to you, but do know when to draw the line. Too much exercise can actually make you backtrack on your goals. Working out too much can lead to injuries, exhaustion, and even depression.
Signs that you exercise too much are actually quite obvious, but it’s easy to excuse them. You may tell yourself that a bit of soreness is normal and that feeling too tired and uninterested in your workout for the day is just you being lazy. Of course, to achieve any physical feat, you need to push yourself beyond your current limits, but listen to your body. If you start to feel too emotionally dependent on your exercise routine, begin to loathe it, or are unusually tired, sore, or agitated, take a break for a day or two and see how things improve.
2. More Cardio Burns More Fat
When you do too much cardio, your body starts to burn your muscles (glycogen) after about 45 minutes into a cardio routine, using them as a fuel source. Of course, cardio exercise is an incredibly important part of your health and weight loss regimen. However, it is not the only part. The best way to get lean, lose weight, and look great is to combine strength training and short, intense cardio sessions with proper rest and a plant-based diet.
3. The Scale Says it All
The scale is a misleading measure of your fitness and overall leanness. Muscle is denser than fat, which means someone who has been training hard can still sees the same number on the scale, despite losing body fat. What happens is muscle has been built, displacing the fat, but the scale stays the same. Meanwhile, a significant shift in the scale can indicate a loss or gain of water weight, which fluctuates, oftentimes dramatically, over a short period of time.
4. Change Diet Immediately
In order to lose weight and look more fit, dietary changes are even more critical than your exercise routine. But use caution as any immediate shift in the diet can actually serve as a shock to your system and make you less effective during your workout. Suddenly consuming substantially fewer calories can leave you light-headed, groggy, and tired. And suddenly turning to whole, plant-based foods after a long life of consuming less-than-fit foods can be a shock to the system and leave you equally light-headed, groggy, tired, and even sick.
Make all dietary changes gradual. Start by eliminating certain culprits, such as fizzy drinks, sugar, and white flour for a week or two. Then move on to another set of offenders, like hydrogenated oils, processed foods, and sodium for another week or two. While undergoing this process of elimination, slowly introduce fresh fruits and vegetables and their juices as well as lean meats or vegan sources of protein.
Also, read up on what you should eat before and after a workout to experience optimal results.
5. You Know What You’re Doing
If you are just starting an exercise routine, don’t assume you know what you are doing. Come well researched and equipped. Make sure the shoes you wear are fit for what you plan to do.
Whether in the gym or outdoors, learn how to use the machines or understand the terrain before you hit the ground running (in place). Even when a machine looks straightforward, there are often subtle details. A simple adjustment in your alignment or hand placement can drastically change results. Talk to a gym trainer and ask for a guide on the machines you plan on using.
If you are going for a run outdoors, map out your run first so you know what to expect and can easily measure how far you go. This way, you can get in the kind of mileage you seek and track your results over time.
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