All too often, achieving a fitness goal feels next to impossible. You work out hard, but you can hardly see any results. Why? The truth is that working out isn’t enough to outrun bad habits. No matter how much hard work you put in, bad habits can make achieving your fitness goals tougher and also affect your health in the long term. Here are six traps that can ruin your workout:
1. Your form is off.
Many people don’t understand the importance of posture. This might be due to bad guidance, not asking for advice, or being new in the gym. Whatever it is, exercising in the wrong way can up your chances of injuring yourself and minimize the effect of your workout. It’s important to learn proper form from day one, because if you develop a bad habit, it’s difficult to get rid of it at a later stage. Ask for help to ensure you’re moving right.
2. You’re exercising on an empty stomach.
Experts recommend fueling your body before you start exercising. Jay Cardiello, a fitness expert and ISSA and NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, says fasted cardio—AKA doing cardio on an empty stomach in the morning—can be both good and bad for your body, but it’s not sustainable. Instead, he suggests getting in your glucose before starting your workout. That’s because when your blood sugar is too low, your body extracts glycogen from the muscle tissues once it runs out of available glycogen. What does that mean, exactly? You start losing muscle instead of building it. Yikes. Not to mention low blood sugar can also cause dizziness and weakness during training, so eat a banana, berries, or low-fat yogurt 45 minutes before working out to skip those negative side effects.
3. Too Much Cardio
Cardio could melt a lot of calories, but exaggerating it can reduce stamina, create muscular tissue atrophy, and even bring about fat-loss plateaus. And, if you’re on a strict diet plan as well as integrate it with an overdose of cardio, it could take a toll on your muscular tissues. Karina Baymiller, a powerlifter, recommends “a couple of 15-minute HIIT or conditioning sessions a week to keep your fat-loss rolling as well as strength maintained.” (These Instagram Girls Will Inspire You to Try Powerlifting.) As opposed to recompensing with cardio, focus on stamina training and also think about fine-tuning your nutrition routines– besides, a healthy diet regimen is the structure of any efficient, long-term fat-loss strategy.
4. Starving or Eating the Wrong Food
Too many people think that skipping meals can help them lose weight, but that’s far from true. You need to eat after working out, and you need to eat right. Otherwise, “your body breaks down muscles into amino acids to convert into glucose,” says John Ivy, Ph.D., chair emeritus of kinesiology at the University of Texas, and your body will essentially start sabotaging itself. Avoid eating refined or processed foods, and aim to have a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.
5. You don’t get enough sleep.
Adequate sleep is necessary to allow your muscles to recover. If you don’t get adequate sleep, you can’t exercise to the full intensity; you will feel as if the workout is at full intensity, but it’s only an illusion. You should make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep per night to ensure a fit and healthy body.
6. You aren’t eating enough protein.
Protein intake is essential if you are working out, as protein helps your body recover from training sessions and helps build more muscle as well. It is very important to include protein in every meal, even in your breakfast. Studies indicate that the body burns up to 30 percent of the calories consumed from protein during the digestion process. In general, you’ll need 1 gram of protein per kilogram of your body weight every day.