Are you spending multiple hours a week in the gym and still seeing poor results? Most likely you are probably one of the many people who have acquired one or more of these bad fitness habits. For those of us that have made exercise a habitual part of our lives, it can be easy to get in a routine, and not mix things up a bit. Here are things that you may be doing that can actually be hurting your progress. Dropping these 5 poor exercise practices will not only help you drop some pounds, but they will also help you become more efficient with your workouts, giving you more time to cooler stuff, like making that iPhone app that will make you millions.
1. Working out at a slow and steady pace for long periods of time
When it comes to getting your fitness on, moderately paced activity is not the way to go. You are wasting your time and not even giving your body the type of intensity it needs. Instead of working out for an hour at a low rate, kick it up a notch and do 30 minutes of intense exercise. Not only will this give you half of your precious time back, but you will also feel more energized.
According to a recently published article in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, people who worked out for only 30 min every day felt less burnt out than those who worked out for an hour. The shorter duration may also lead to exercising more often because of the increased amount of energy and lack of soreness in the days following.
Within the 30 minutes, you can take 15-30 second breaks, but make sure to keep moving and go into your next workout quickly. So next time you hit the gym make sure to give it 100% for half the time, rather than 75% for twice the duration.
2. Screwing around
This kind of goes with the previous tip, as in, make sure you maximize your time! Don’t be that guy or girl who constantly checks themselves out in the mirror to make sure that their makeup or hair is still in perfect condition. Not only are those people annoying for the rest of us who look like they just got hit by a semi truck after they workout, but they are also not utilizing their time.
Don’t wander around and lollygag while you workout out. Do yourself a favor and leave the phone behind. If you listen to music on your phone while you exercise but you find that you are also looking at text messages, maybe its time to invest in an iPod. Come into the gym with a workout in mind and give it your complete focus. Have a water bottle on hand so you can quickly reach for it when it is absolutely necessary. Make the most of your time and forget about what you look like or who is working out beside you. Get in and get out.
3. Doing the same thing over and over
Most of us have hear of the term ‘plateau’, which means to level off. This is what your body does when it gets used to something. When you do the same thing over and over, your body begins to get better at it and it becomes easier. This causes you to get poorer results for the same activity.
Although sit-ups may have been hard at the beginning, you will notice that they will become much easier (and practically useless after a few months). You may have wanted to kill yourself when you first started running stairs, but now you fell like Rocky and can dust those bitches like it was nothing. This is your body getting used to the exercise and hitting a plateau.
By mixing it up and changing your workouts every time you can trick your body into thinking that it is doing something much harder and you will burn more calories. Get a groupon each month and try something new.
4. Ditching the strength training
We are led to believe that the more cardio we do the more weight we will loose, and the more strength training we do, the more muscular we will get. This there is truth to this, but it is not that black and while.
Yes you can go run for an hour and burn 400 calories (as long as you are not engaging in the previous bad habit of never switching up your routines), but you can do a shorter strength training or cross training session that will burn the same calories but also build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle you have the more your body is able to burn calories throughout the day, even when you are not working out.
Multiple studies have shown that strength training can help reduce the symptoms and provide preventative measures for multiple diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, depression, and diabetes.
5. Hydrating with sugary sports drinks
There are so many energy and sports drinks out on the market these days and most of them are just glorified sugar bombs.
Yes they may give you a little boost or a jolt of energy but this is from the unreasonably high sugar content and calorie count. During your workout, hydrating with H2O will be just fine. If you feel like you need more energy throughout your workout, then you should think about fueling a little more before you begin. Eat something that is healthy and energy packed about 45 min before you workout.
It’s a new year people, time to start fresh. Drop those bad habits and get better results in less time. If your resolution was to get back in shape, check out our tips on how to keep your fitness resolutions. This is your year. Time to start kicking ass and taking names!