We all make mistakes when it comes to managing our fitness. Push too hard, go too easy, lift the wrong weights, don’t do any sort of resistance training, and the list goes on and on. But here are five mistakes that we can all avoid – and be better off for it!
1) Wearing the wrong shoes for working out.
I like to wear shoes that look good, but when it comes to fitness, function has to take top billing over fashion. Fortunately most brands have cute athletic shoes for all types of fitness enthusiasts. If you’re a Zumba fan, there are shoes just for Zumba that will help your feet slide better (avoiding painful ankle rolls). If you’re a runner, it’s a good idea to wear running shoes (or at least a good pair of cross-training shoes). More often than not, if you’re working out, your feet will swell a little bit. If you normally wear a size eight, nudge up your shoe by a half size to give your feet some room. Your toes should not be all the way to the front of the shoe. Your pigs need some love, too.
2) Water-less workouts.
After ten or 15 minutes of working out, you body will likely need some H2O. Aim to finish an entire water bottle by the time you’re done with your workout. You may not feel thirsty, but your body will appreciate the hydration – particularly through the winter months when the humidity drops and dry air increases. A little extra water will not only help keep you energized, but will also help maintain a normal appetite.
3) Justifying a snack attack because you worked out for 45 minutes.
A 45-minute workout is great – truly! But 45 minutes of a good workout (or a workout of any length for that matter) doesn’t justify a snack attack that will add calories back onto your waistline much faster than it could ever take to shake them off again. If you didn’t eat before your workout, or if you worked out for a particularly long time (90+ minutes), you could certainly stand to eat something (with a good balance of protein and carbs), but an order of fries or sugary coffee drink still gets a red card! You worked too hard to set your body back. Some perspective: the average 45 minute continuous moderate-pace workout *might* burn about 400 calories. That’s about the same amount of calories in a pumpkin spice latte!
4) Going from 0 to 60 in no time flat!
How many times have you started a workout without any sort of warm up? Hopefully not very often, but I see it in others all the time. People walk into the gym, make a B-line to the treadmill and start running at full pace within a minute. We can only get away with staying injury-free for so long. Injuries aren’t just sprained ankles and torn ACLs. Injuries can be seemingly mild, but chronic, including back pain, deep muscle pain or various forms of tendonitis. Warming up for five or ten minutes by loosening up your joints and muscles can make a big difference in your long term health and fitness.
5) Losing steam ten minutes into your workout.
The buzz kill of all buzz kills is psyching up for a great workout, making it to the gym, then losing your momentum a few minutes after you start working out, and long before even a bead of sweat has formed. Two words: MENTAL TOUGHNESS. We all have bad days and want to throw in the towel on a workout. But if you’ve made it to the gym but don’t really feel like doing much, shift gears. Go do something completely different. Instead of doing the same-old same-old on a piece of cardio, take a class. Instead of lifting weights first, take 15 minutes to stretch or even loosen up on a foam roller. You’ll feel great after you’ve done something, so don’t stop after the first few minutes of sluggishness.
Wait, don’t leave yet! If you’re not joining me on Facebook yet, now’s a great time. There’s a lot more information on nutrition, diet and exercise. I love talking with my fans and enjoy putting together fitness plans and body-specific meal plans…just for them! If you have any questions or comments, just let me know.