When you put in the time and effort to exercise you want the maximum results. But for many people the results do not match their expectations, so they get discouraged and quit exercising all together. The reason that many people are not getting their desired results when exercising is because they are making crucial mistakes that negate much of their hard work and effort. Here are 5 top exercise mistakes to avoid, enabling you to get the maximum benefit from your workouts.
Mistake #1 Doing Only Cardiovascular Exercises
It is a huge mistake to do only cardiovascular exercises like (walking, biking or aerobics) without incorporating strength building exercises in your weekly routine. Heart pumping cardio exercise is certainly better than no exercise at all, but if your primary goal is to lose weight, building up your muscle strength with free weights, Pilates and yoga plays a vital role in burning extra calories, elevating your resting metabolism, burning extra fat and toning your body!
Mistake #2 Overeating Processed Foods After Working out
It can be very tempting to go to a fast food restaurant after a good workout because you feel like rewarding yourself for exercising so much. Just know that when you do this, it can counteract most of the hard work that you put in during your workout. One trip to a fast food restaurant can make you eat 800-1,200 calories without even noticing. Be mindful that one full hour on the treadmill doing a brisk walk only burns 300-500 calories. So you do the math, is it worth it to eat unhealthy, fat laden foods full of empty calories after you busted your butt to burn 500 calories at the gym?
Unhealthy foods provide the body with insufficient vitamins and nutrients, and can sap you of your energy and motivation to do a great workout. Try to eat fruit or a protein drink 20 minutes after your workout to curb your appetite for junk foods.
Mistake #3 Not Working Out in Your Target Heart Rate Zone
If you are looking to tone your muscles and burn fat, it is important for you to spend 30 to 60 minutes working out in your target heart rate zone also known as THR. You’ll know you’re working out at a good fat burning pace when you are able to carry on a conversation but you are working out too hard to sing. If you are able to sing while working out, this may be a sign that there is adequate room for you to increase the intensity of your exercise. Go faster, longer or harder for better results.
Mistake #4 Expecting to Lose A Ton of Weight After A Few Weeks
Don’t get discouraged and give up on your workouts if the scale is telling you that you’ve only lost a few pounds after a few weeks. The scale can not tell you how many inches you’ve lost and how proud your are of yourself for getting up to exercise. The scale can not tell you that you are sleeping better, and fitting into your clothes better than before. Remember that exercise is not an end to a means, it’s not something that you to do only to lose weight. Exercise helps your brain, your ability to think clearly, your heart function, lung capacity, sex libido, immune system and so much more. Your workout time is an opportunity to improve your health and enhance your spiritual well being.
Mistake #5 Forgetting to Warm Up and Stretch
Warming up before you exercise is very important because it allows your muscles to literally warm up and prepare for exercise. If you don’t adequately warm up before your workout, you can run the risk of injuring yourself or feeling very sore a few days later (with delayed onset muscle soreness). A proper warm up is simply a slower paced version of what you intend to do for exercise. A good example would be stating off with a walk for 10 minutes, moving up to a jog and then running – opposed to just starting off with a fast paced sprint.
Stretching all of your major muscles after your workout is an important part of exercise as well. Stretching helps to elongate your muscles, prevent lactic acid buildup (which makes you sore) and help you burn even more calories. If you don’t stretch, your muscles may lock up and this will discourage you from moving forward and getting more physically fit.
If you avoid these top 5 mistakes, you will be on your way to a more physically fit body, more weight loss and better results when you workout. It is very east to get angry at yourself for not getting the results as quickly as you want, but when you get support and guidance from a fitness professional it makes things much easier. Try to stay motivated by reading more articles like this, subscribing to some fitness magazines and making more friends who are “into fitness” this will help you stay more motivated to succeed. God bless you!