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Busting Bad Fitness Habits

You may be exercising regularly, but if you aren’t seeing the results you want, it may because of some bad fitness habits that you  need to break!

Stretching

Bad Habit: Not Doing A Warm Up or Cool Down

Sometimes you need to start slow to move fast. What that means is this: When you do a warm up, you increase your blood flow, which minimizes the lactic acid in the muscles, which increases the overall performance of the workout. Synovial fluid is released into the joints which allows for increased elasticity in the muscles and increased flexibility for the tendons and ligaments.

Cool downs are also important since it allows your heart rate to return back to a normal rate. If you have a super intense workout and immediately stop – without a cool down – then you are at risk for serious injury and you can even pass out from it. 

Bad Habit: You Never Stretch

Personally, I kind of hate stretching. It makes my 30 minute workout turn into a 40 minute workout. It’s kind of boring. However, stretching before and after exercise is extremely beneficial, so whether you hate stretching or not, you should do it for every single workout you do.

Not only do you prevent injury by stretching, you also become increasingly more flexible,  stronger, bring valuable oxygen to your muscles, and  provide better blood circulation.

Bad Habit: Staying In Your Comfort Zone

If you don’t provide yourself with the necessary variety or challenge during your workout, your body will quickly adapt and that’s when you will hit a plateau. If you are going to take the time to workout, make it count.

Bad Habit: Ditching Exercise…Because You’re Muscles Are Sore

You’ve probably had a super great workout that left you extremely sore the next day. Rather than giving your sore muscles a break, recent research has shown that exercise using light resistance actually provides some relief to your muscles – similar to that of a massage. You’re going to recover faster if you do some light exercise rather than giving yourself a day off from the gym.

Bad Habit: Ignoring Pain

Know the difference between muscle soreness and pain. If you are experiencing pain – more than that of a sore muscle – do not ignore it! Pushing through the pain can result in hard-to-heal injuries, so always listen to your body. Make sure you are using proper form while exercising, since pain can be a sign that you are doing the exercise incorrectly.

Bad Habit: “Machine Hopping” Too Soon

We all want to avoid plateaus, so many think that “machine hopping” is the answer. It can be, but too many are switching up the machines before ever creating a strong base line first. Stick with a routine for a couple of weeks (2-6, depending how in shape you are to begin with) and then once your fitness and strength has increased, go ahead and give yourself some change of scenery in the gym. I suggest tracking your progress to make sure you keep progressing.

Bad Habit: You Avoid Strength Training

Guys normally don’t have a problem when it comes to strength training. However, most women avoid strength training with a fear of getting bulky muscles. Ladies, you won’t get bulky muscles like guys do – we are just build differently then men. Strength training has been shown to prevent and reverse brittle bones, can help avoid age-related dementia, and increase your overall calorie burn throughout the day (which is great if you are trying to lose weight).  Go ahead, include some strength training into your workout routine and reap the benefits!

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