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The year that has passed has been witness to many resolutions that were taken and broken as well. But the New Year is like a new book where you can write your story the way you want and one of the most important resolutions to take at this point of time is a healthy and disease free life for ourselves so that we can take better care of our loved ones. Staying in shape is one of the most important facets of a healthy life and exercise and diet are the two main cornerstones of staying in shape.
Diet plans such as the 1200 calorie vegetarian diet and GM Diet are in heavy demand. But as far as the matter about regular exercise is concerned, do you feel that your efforts are not showing the results that you expect? Maybe you are putting a lot of effort in your workout regime but you are not doing things the way they are supposed to be done. Let’s look at the checklist of the 10 most common workout mistakes that prevents proper results just to be sure that we are doing things the right way.
10 Common Exercise Blunders that should be Avoided
The following is a series of the most common workout mistakes and the ways you can avoid them in order to enhance the output of your workout sessions.
Concentrating on a Single Body Part
Health & fitness experts suggest time and again that it is important to work out all the parts of the body to achieve your desired figure. The basis of getting into shape is burning fat from all portions of the body and toning all the muscles and tissues. But spot specific workouts such as crunches and sit ups alone are not effective enough to tone the body and promote weight loss.
It is important to sync these exercises with high-intensity cardio workouts, weight training, stretching and cooling down exercises. High-intensity workouts help in speeding up the fat burning process by boosting metabolism and of course they are whole body workouts that help in toning each and every body part.
Straining the Body and Over Exercising
Exercising and sweating it out is the ultimate explanation to the question of how to lose weight naturally, but before starting off for a long-distance run or spending your entire time in gym workouts, it is important to know the limits of your body. Over-exercising does more harm than good in the long run. It is important to allow the body enough time to improve from the stress of a workout session.
If you are not into body building or competing for a marathon then it is enough to do high intensity exercises three times a week and there is absolutely no need to hit the gym twice every day. As your body adapts to powerful workout sessions, you can gradually increase the intensity and reduce the frequency, to keep things in balance. It is extremely essential to allow the muscles and tissues of the body to recover and rebuild in order to see effective results.
Underestimating Your Endurance Level
Just like over-exercising, under-exercising can be detrimental for your weight loss regime as well. The most important exercise tips include striking the perfect balance. The most common mistake people make while working out is that they either push their bodies too hard or don’t push it hard enough. The key to achieving the equilibrium is listening to your body. In the case of weight training, it is suggested to use weights that challenge your strength and bring the best out of your workout efforts.
In the case of high-intensity exercises, it is important to notice whether the heart rate is up and just touching your anaerobic threshold. It is ideal to have a 20 to 30 seconds window between the sets. But, we must also remember that with time, the body’s endurance level is bound to increase and you need to pep up your exercise regime continuously to keep pace with the change.
Doing the Same Workouts For Months
The key to a shapely and fit body is challenging it every day. It is no secret that the repetition of the same work every day eventually makes us perfect in it and it requires much less effort to do. The theory is same with physical activities. Following the same workout routines – for example cardio, stretching and calisthenics exercises for months makes your body to adapt to the level of exhaustion and as a result your exercise regime hits a plateau and your body fails to show any improvement beyond it.
Therefore, it is important to bring variation in your gym exercise routine and keep modifying it every month. This can be done by bringing change in the weights you lift, the number of reps you do. You can also prolong the time of your workout and include more reps to the exercises.
Skipping Sleep for Workout
Although, the best time for workouts is early morning, it is not judicious to crunch sleep time for exercises. Well, the good news is, it is not necessary to indulge in hour-long sessions of workout in gym early in the morning to promote weight loss. 20 minutes spell of high-intensity interval training using a gym bike or elliptical machine is good enough to jump start your metabolism and mechanism of fat burning.
In addition, high-intensity training also helps in improving cardiovascular health and dipping the risk of heart attack by promoting blood flow through the arteries and strengthening the muscles of the heart. Getting 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep is vital for proper working of the body and lack of sleep can backfire on your weight loss efforts.
Not Stretching and Doing Warm Ups
There is a reason the fitness experts recommend warm up exercises and stretching sessions before a workout. Skipping the warm up and stretching might save some time, but it also ensures sustained injuries to muscles and joints during tough workouts. Doing 10 minutes of medium intensity warm up and stretching exercises like squats, lunges and jumping jacks along with runner’s stretch, standing side stretch, etc. helps in preparing the body for optimum performance during weight training and high intensity workout sessions.
It helps in relaxing the strained joints and muscles, and increasing flexibility, thereby minimizing the chances of sprains and injuries. Warm up exercises before gym also help in increasing the heart rate, blood circulation to the muscles and prepares them for the upcoming strenuous workout session.
Doing Cardio before Lifts
Cardio exercises are a significant part of any fitness workout regime, but it is important to place it in the right slot to get maximum effectiveness. It is best not to do cardio exercises before lifts because lifts or weight training requires full concentration and maximum performance of the muscles.
A 30 minutes cardio session before the lifting session exhausts your body and drains out energy so that your muscles can not perform properly. It is best not to include cardio exercises in warm-up sessions and the best time to do them is after the lifting session when the body can still work hard to raise up the heart rate and burn calories. Doing cardio before lifts also leads to poor form and aggravates the risk of injuries and sprains.
Working out on an empty stomach is the biggest harm you can do to your fitness efforts. It is always recommended to plan out your pre and post workout foods because proper nutrition at the right time helps a lot in achieving your weight loss and fitness targets. Have lean proteins and carb-rich snacks like oats, bananas or whole grain breads at least 30 minutes before your hit the gym.
The carbohydrates and proteins present in these foods act as a steady supply of energy and help the muscles to perform better. The post workout snack is equally important, and it is best to consume fluid and carbohydrate-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, dry fruits, fruit juices within 30 minutes of completion of the workout sessions.
Not Getting Proper Hydration
Hydrating yourself during your fitness exercise regime is as important as exercise itself. The importance of water for or life needs no new emphasis, but being dehydrated during exercise can lead to decreased physical performance. The basic daily requirement is 8 to 10 glasses of water, but if you are into strenuous physical activities, the requirement may double.
It is recommended to sip a small quantity of water throughout the exercise session rather than gulping down a bottle right after completion of an exhaustive set of cardio or weight training. Because exercise causes excessive sweating, it is suggested to add some electrolytes to the water. You can also add a flavorful twist to your H2O by adding a dash of lemon juice or a few mint leaves to it.
Using Incorrect Techniques
Last but not the least, comes the technique or method of doing the exercise. It is crucial to have a good and experienced trainer at least during the beginning stages. The trainer will be able to conduct you with the right postures and techniques of using a machine or lifting heavy weights.
Doing things the wrong way will not only keep you from achieving desired results, but also increase the chances of injuries, soreness and pain. We find too many instances of back pains, sore muscles and sprains after sessions of weight training and most of it is because of improper use of equipment.
How to Balance your Workout Regime?
In order to make your exercise regime a powerful and foolproof one, you will need to combine a few kinds of exercises and work on them in sequence.
Interval Training: This is the best way to promote weight loss. It combines minutes of high-intensity exercises with 30 seconds of gap in between. Interval training should not be done more than 3 times a week.
Stretching Exercises: Stretching is an important part up any exercise regime. 10 minutes of stretching exercise helps in increasing flexibility of the joints and muscles and improves blood circulation throughout the body.
Weight Training: Weight training is the best possible way to increase lean muscle mass – one of the most important factors for fat burning. It is best to include 1 set of weight training to your daily workout regime. It should be done with enough weight and include enough reps to work out the muscles. And, it is important to work different sets of muscles in every session with enough time for the muscles to recover.
Core Workouts: It is important to strengthen the core muscles present in the abdomen, pelvis and back through core training because these muscles form the basis of movement, stability and balance. Pilates exercises work effectively for improving core strength.
So, now that you know the most common workout mistakes that all of us are prone to, cross them out from your checklist and pep up the effectiveness of your exercise regime.