Fitness Mistakes That Are Wasting Your Time

man holding dumbbell in handIn order to make over your body, you may need to make over your workout to get better results. Identify your fitness mistakes and fix them, so you can stay on the path to a healthier you.

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Are you….

1. Getting too comfortable with your strength routine?
Every time you go to the gym you head to the same machines. You’re very comfortable with your regular strength training routine and your muscles are too. Unfortunately, when your muscles get used to the routine, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Challenge your muscles by learning new workouts for each muscle group. To better keep those muscle fibers involved, change can be as simple as adding an incline to your chest press. Switch up your routine every 6 to 8 weeks to avoid hitting a plateau.

2. Performing rapid repetitions?
It may look cool to lift weights at lightning speed, but it won’t tone those muscles. If you speed through repetitions, you are using momentum to lift weights, not your muscles. You also put yourself at greater risk for tearing your muscles and connective tissues or knocking out an innocent passerby. Take the time to feel your muscles work as they lift the weight, come to a complete pause when you reach your destination and then use your muscles to slowly lower the weights back to the starting point.

3. Exercising too hard, too often?
Cardio workouts should not be intense everyday. Your body needs to rest or you might stop seeing progress and may even reverse some progress. Alternate shorter, more intense cardio workouts with longer, less intense workout days. For your strength training workouts, give each muscle group a day off in between workouts. For example, work your upper body muscles one day and your lower body muscles the next workout.

4. Setting your cardio on cruise control?
To get the most out of your cardio, add some short intervals of high intensity cardio into your moderate intensity workout. It may leave you huffing and puffing for a minute or two but it will enhance your fitness and help get you to your desired results. During a brisk 30-minute walk, try bursting into a sprint for two minutes every ten minutes to keep your heart rate up and burn more calories.

5. Lifting the wrong amount of weight?
Lifting weights that are too light will not improve your strength and lifting weights that are too heavy forces your body to resort to using other muscles instead of the one intended to do the work. For optimum results from your strength training routine, choose weights that are heavy enough to leave you struggling towards the ends of your set – but not so heavy you lose proper lifting form. Perform 4 to 6/8 to 12 repetitions per set for moderate strength building. If after completing a set you feel you could handle more weight, increase the weight by 5 to 10 percent.

6. Playing the numbers game?
It may be tempting to focus on the number of laps you jogged, the calories burned, or the number of steps you climbed, but instead, focus on the energy and motivation working out gives you. Monitoring your progress is important, but the spotlight should be on how healthy you feel.

7. Obsessing over one body part?
You want a flat tummy, so doing a hundred crunches seems like a good idea. But it isn’t. Focusing too much on a problem area causes you to neglect other muscle groups that are important to your fitness. Keep your workout routine balanced and fight the temptation to target certain areas.

8. Forgetting the mental aspect?
Your attitude is extremely critical to your success. If you are afraid of sweating out your hair or other people looking at you, may need to makeover your mind before you make over your body. Keep in mind your ultimate goal is to be healthy. Don’t let anything cause you to lose focus of that.