I recently found out that I might have bad exercise habits. I thought that if I was at least putting in the effort to workout, it had to be benefiting me. Yet, some of my bad habits may be hindering my fitness progress.
If you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you want from your exercise routine, maybe you have some bad fitness habits, too.
Here are 8 bad exercise habits you should break right now:
Skipping the warm up
Skipping a warm up and not stretching before you exercise are probably two of the most common habits people pick up. You may be short on time and want to spend the time you have getting to the real workout. If you’re going to power walk, you may not need to warm up – you can start out slow and then increase your speed. If you plan to do an intense workout or sports activity, it’s important to stretch so that you can avoid an injury, muscle strain or even soreness.
Keeping a moderate pace
Conventional exercise has followed the concept that a workout should be done at a steady, moderate pace for a long period of time. Research has refuted this notion in recent years. High-intensity interval training has been shown to be more efficient and effective – and it can be completed in less time than a conventional cardio workout.
Resting too much
While resting between sets is important, resting too much can have the opposite effect. If you take breaks for too long, your heart rate slows and your body stops refueling your muscles. For better gains from your exercise, give it no more than a 30 second rest between each set. However, if you feel lightheaded, stop whatever you’re doing and sit down.
On the flip side, you may hold to the theory that if some exercise is good, then working out more is even better. Over training – committing yourself to too much activity or too much intensity – can result in pulled muscles and accidents. Try to listen to your body and balance a desire to push yourself with healthy expectations.
Forgetting to hydrate
If you aren’t drinking enough water while you exercise, it’s a habit that must be broken. Proper hydration is necessary before, during and after any type of workout. You need to replenish what your body loses during exercise and prevent the physical effects of dehydration. For most exercisers, sports drinks are a waste of money – you’re drinking refined sugars, artificial colors and chemicals. Water is the best way to stay hydrated.
You may hit the gym on an empty stomach. Fasting before a workout can actually lead to weight gain. In addition, low blood sugar can make you feel sluggish, dizzy or unable to perform at your normal levels. You can maintain good stamina during your workout by eating a healthy meal or snack prior to your workout.
Leaving out the strength training
If you’re wanting to lose weight, you may ignore strength training for fear of “bulking up.” Yet, gaining more muscle through resistance exercises has many benefits, including losing excess fat, maintaining healthy bone mass and preventing muscle loss as you age.
Doing the same thing over and over
I get on the treadmill because it’s easy. Just step on it and push start. However, repetition is typically bad for your exercise routine. If you do the same thing over and over again, it is no longer challenging and your body uses less energy while you workout. By mixing up your fitness routine, you trick your body into working harder and burning more calories.
If you’re exercising on a regular basis, you are well on your way to a healthy fitness routine. Keep it up! And be sure to avoid falling into these bad exercise habits.