Whatever exercise program you’re doing, whether you’re in the free Fit Over 40 Program (learn more below) or are doing your own personal routine, there are certain mistakes that may be preventing you from getting the most out of your workouts.
Avoid these 10 common exercise mistakes so you don’t derail your progress…
- FORGETTING ABOUT FITNESS FUN – Instead of approaching a workout as a challenge or a chore to check off, use exercise as “me time.” Turn it into a way to learn more about your body, explore its limits ,and flush out your emotions.
- NOT ADDING VARIETY – Some people get in an exercise rut by making the mistake of always doing the same workout at the same place at the same time of day for the same amount of time. The body adapts and plateaus, and frustration sets in. This is a setup for losing momentum and interest because one day off becomes 10 more. Mixing up speed, intensity, and type of exercise is key to getting results.
- THINKING CARDIO IS ENOUGH – If weight loss is your goal, think beyond doing cardio only. We start losing muscle mass at age 30, and strength training not only helps maintain and build your muscle mass, but more muscles means a higher metabolism, which helps you burn more calories. Strong women stay young!
- PUSHING COLD MUSCLES – Warm muscles stretch more easily so you are less likely to injure them. Make the first few minutes of each routine a warm-up. We all need a different amount of time to get into gear. Warm up until your body feels ready to push harder.
Warming up is an essential part of exercise, so never skip it. During your warmup more blood travels to the working muscles, which prepares your body for the workout ahead. By gradually raising your heart rate and increasing your body temperature, it actually makes the workout more efficient. Starting out too quickly can cause lactic acid to build up. Lactic acid creates that burning feeling in your muscles, which can interfere with your overall workout if you need to recover.
- NOT SOCIALIZING – Consider the social aspect of a workout with friends and family. Even in these challenging times of social distancing, there are ample ways to connect in an online workout. When you include others in your workout, it’s harder to back out.
- BEING OUT OF TUNE – Listen to your body and don’t force it to do what it resists. If you don’t feel like adding speed work to your workout today, then don’t. Simple as that!
- THINKING YOU HAVE TO SET ASIDE AN HOUR – Remember, it all adds up. Exercise is cumulative. It doesn’t have to be done in a 20-, 30-, or 60-minute session. Split up your workouts if you like. Do a 10-minute routine in the morning and another 10 minutes later that day combined with an additional aerobic activity, such as a long walk after dinner.
- STARTING TOO FAST – When you are starting to workout, it is critical that you focus on form and progress slowly. It is important not only that the muscles have a chance to be stimulated and strengthen but also that the connective tissues surrounding the muscles strengthen.
- PLAYING THE COMPARISON GAME – From the moment you start changing how you eat and exercise, your body undergoes a multitude of invisible changes, all of which build a strong foundation for dramatic future results. Remember, you are not aiming just for weight loss. Seek much more: Robust hearts and immune systems. More lean muscle. A strong skeletal system to support other systems and organs. A lower risk for age-related diseases and a slowdown in the degenerative process that affects everything.
- LETTING EXCUSES TAKE OVER – It’s not always easy to find the motivation to work out. When you have a day when you want to skip exercising because you’re tired, cranky, overwhelmed or simply not in the mood, think about how you’ll feel after your workout. Once you get moving, the blood will start circulating and your outlook will change in a flash. Then, the endorphins will kick in and you will feel clear-minded, energized and alive.
As you make slight shifts in your life, a tremendous amount of invisible activity goes on inside your body. Even though you may not see results as quickly as you want on the outside of your body, you are retraining your body’s metabolic pathways to more efficiently metabolize food and burn fat. You are changing your body on both a cellular and a hormonal level. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t follow a workout program perfectly on a busy day. Focus on the positive: You are exercising most days of the week now and you are eating in a way that is good for your body. One day won’t set you back in the grand scheme of things. Remind yourself that you are still moving forward.