You exercise to stay fit, so it’s understandably disappointing when your efforts don’t yield the results you’d hoped for. Here are 7 common mistakes you could be making at the gym that may be stopping you from achieving your goals.
1. Not drinking enough
Even if you’re not thirsty, drink anyway.
+ For more effective workouts, drink plenty of water before, during and after training. If you don’t, your body will have trouble supplying your muscles with the nutrients they need.
+ Carry around your own water bottle or drink a few mouthfuls from a water fountain on a regular basis.
Often what we perceive of as hunger is actually our body telling us we’re dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water also helps to maintain your weight under control, if that’s part of your goals.
2. Not eating properly
If you don’t eat enough, or if you exercise immediately after a meal, your performance will suffer.
+ Eat at least two hours before working out.
+ Choose plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.
3. Not having the right gear
To avoid pain, discomfort and possible injury, you need to dress suitably.
+ For example, good quality running shoes are essential for jogging and a sports bra is indispensable for any woman who exercises.
If you’re unsure what clothing to choose, ask for advice from one of the trainers at the gym or an associate at the store where you’ll be making your purchase.
4. Not warming up
Always warm up, even if you only have a short amount of time to work out. And don’t rush your warm-up routine either.
+ Simply put, your body needs to adapt to any kind of physical effort. If you suddenly switch from inactivity to intense exercise, you greatly increase your chances of muscle injury.
5. Always doing the same routine
For optimal results, change your routine about every four weeks. Why?
+ The body becomes accustomed to a training program after a while and your metabolism starts to ease off.
Although you may feel and actually be fitter than before, you’ll need to change up the intensity of your workout if you want to see continued progress.
6. Doing the wrong program
One of the mistakes to avoid at the gym is to randomly select a training program by yourself.
+ Ask a trainer to create a customized program for you and make sure you use the correct technique for each exercise.
+ Even if you’ve been to the gym before, but it’s been several years, it never hurts to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
7. Not listening to your body
If you experience pain, cramps or any other kind of discomfort while you’re lifting weights or doing a workout, take a break.
+ If you’re too tired to work out or sick, you’re better off staying at home. Otherwise, you could injure yourself or spread whatever you have to other gym members.
However, be careful not to confuse psychological fatigue with physical fatigue. Your mind may feel tired after a day at the office, but your body needs to move if you’ve been sitting in a chair for several hours.
One last mistake to avoid at the gym…don’t go overboard!
When people start a new training program they tend to overdo it. Exercising every day without leaving your muscles some recovery time may turn your workouts into a chore vs. a pleasure. The secret? Stay motivated and enjoy the challenge!