Working out is great for your mind and your body. There are so many benefits to being active. You feel better about yourself, your endorphins are flowing, and you start seeing physical results. It can be a form of therapy. However, more often than not, no one teaches you the proper way to work out. I mean, we all can’t afford a personal trainer. There are some things you might be doing that could be sabotaging your workout routine. Or, even worse, maybe you’re actually harming your body, instead of helping it.
It’s hard to know what is the best way to work out and what is getting in your way. It’s awesome enough that you’re setting aside time just to pump up your blood. So it’s better to know the things that could be hurting your workout, so you can step up your workout game. I’m not saying these things are going to make you a professional bodybuilder or that it will help you instantly get those summer abs that you have been dreaming of. These tips are meant to bring more awareness of the things that could hinder your workout routine.
1. Not having a plan
If you want something, you’ve got to have a plan. Last minute planners are more likely to not stick with the schedule. By setting out what your workout goals are for the week, it gives you a better picture. Every accomplishment starts out with a good plan. So, make sure you write down your daily and weekly goals and get to planning.
2. Not having a workout partner
The Beatles were correct when they said “I get by with a little help from my friends.” They probably weren’t referring to fitness, but you get the picture. Having a workout buddy will hold you and your partner accountable to workout. You’re less likely to flake on going to the gym or running on the track, when you already made plans with your friend. It’s harder to let a friend down than yourself. A workout partner will motivate you and add in some healthy competition.
3. Having too high of expectations
If you plan out that you are going to work out every single day for 2 hours, well — good luck with that. Setting too high of expectations only leads you to not being able to attain them. And then, the guilt and shame starts to seep in. You want to make realistic goals for yourself. That way you can achieve them and still feel proud of yourself. Set out what you think you can manage at first, and then challenge yourself as you keep going.
4. Doing mindless exercises
Ever go to the gym, go straight for the elliptical and zone out while watching Real Housewives? Guilty over here! I get it, sometimes you are too tired to concentrate on working out. However, you’ll get such a better feeling when you are in tune with your exercises. Listening to music can pump up your heart rate and your workout. When you’ve got your mind going, along with those legs, something magical happens.
5. Not eating enough
If you’re going to exert a lot of energy at the gym or outside, you’re going to need fuel. That fuel is food. It’s extremely unhealthy to not nourish your body, especially when it comes to working out. Make sure you’re eating enough carbohydrates, protein and stay hydrated. In order to have a fulfilling workout, your stomach needs to feel fulfilled as well.
6. Not listening to your body
I know you think you should listen to what your mind is telling you — but, don’t forget about your body. Some people work out even when they are exhausted. That isn’t healthy. You want to listen to your body and feel out how much energy you have to exert. If your body is tired, it’s telling you that maybe a day off is necessary. Relaxing can sure do a body good.
7. Doing the same thing over and over
I’m a creature of habit, so I understand. However, when it comes to working out, you need to spice things up. Doing the bike every day is great, but after a while, you aren’t challenging yourself. Instead of going to your favorite machine at the gym, or running your most liked trail, try something new and challenge yourself.