There is so much to learn when it comes to health and fitness. I learn something new all the time. Bad habits in the gym or where ever you exercise can affect you long-term. Check out some of these listed below and if you are guilty of any of them, it's time to break the habit!
Cardio Only and No Strength Training
When you do the same thing over and over your body becomes accustom to it. Cardio is wonderful and necessary but I see so many who ONLY do cardio and never pick up a weight. You will find that if you begin strength training that you will burn more calories than you do when you run. We have to wake-up the muscles. Add in bursts of cardio between your strength training. Your heart rate will get just as high and you will burn more calories. I promise!
Working Out on an Empty Stomach
One thing I have learned that has changed how I eat is understanding how the engergy system works. When your car is out of fuel, will it go? NO. Well, that goes the same for our bodies. When it's low on fuel, it won't be able to perform to its max. Your body uses glycogen as its fuel when you exercise, so it's important to give your body the fuel it needs. If you don't feed your body any glucose before a workout, then it will use the stored glycogen and begin to feed off of the muscle tissue for more. Your blood sugar could drop which will cause you to feel tired or like you just don't have the energy to finish. You could even experience some dizziness as well. Be sure to eat about an hour before your workout to give you more energy, endurance and build your muscles instead of tear them down. A good balance of carbs, fat and protein will do the trick. Steel cut oats with some berries, a slice of whole grain bread with naural peanut butter or an apple with natural peanut butter are a few of my quick picks before a workout.
Eliminating the Cool Down and Stretching
I used to be guilty of this. In a hurry to get to the next place so I just skipped the cool down and stretching all together. During all my studies I have learned that stretching after your workout is much more important than before. The muscles are tight and contracted after a workout, so some kind of cool down and stretching will help loosen them up and help prevent injury.
Same Ole Same Ole
I see it all the time. People doing the same ole workout they have been doing for years. They're still not happy with the way their body looks. Doing the same classes every week for years at a time or hitting the treadmill every signle day. It can become boring and you can lose interest in your workout. Again I'll say your body becomes accustom to the same thing and stops changing. You have to change up your routine to wake up the muscles. This is why I love HIIT or Circuit training so much. You never know what to expect. It keeps your body experiencing new things instead of adapting to the same thing day after day, week after week. If you have never done a spin class try adding one in to your routine. Check out a boot camp or try working with a personal trainer. I love playing basketball and running the court for a great calorie burn every once in a while.
Proper form is so important. If lifting more weight causes you to lose form then don't lift it. Or if a push-up on your toes causes your back to dip, go to the knees. Improper form can cause injury and sometimes be long-term. Building strength through proper form will allow you to graduate to the next level and feel confident. If you are not sure of form ask a trainer for help.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20