With the rise of obesity in our nation many are looking towards exercise to aid them in their weight loss goals. Exercise is crucial to weight loss as many of us know, there is nothing more frustrating than getting the motivation to workout daily and putting in the work only to have no results show on the scale.
Don’t let this stop you from your achieving your weight loss goals; you may just be making a few mistakes that can easily be corrected. Here are the Top 7 Exercise Mistakes that may be stopping you from achieving your weight loss goals:
- Focusing Purely On Cardio For Weight Loss: Too many people, women especially, think running on the treadmill for an hour a day is going to help them achieve their weight loss goal of slimming down and toning up. While yes cardio is beneficial to weight loss and fitness goals alike, it should not be your only focus. Incorporating strength training moves into your weekly fitness regimen is not only going to aid that desired toning affect but it is also going to increase your daily calorie burn even while you are not working out. Muscle burns more calories than fat alone, so by adding muscle through strength training you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. The “after-burn” affect strength training offers also helps you to burn more calories after your workout than cardio can alone. According to How to Slim Down Your Bulging Tummy Fast “The combination of cardio and aerobic training (weights) will eliminate 26% of belly fat in the first 12 weeks”, so be sure you are including both to your fitness regimen.
- Not Switching Up Your Workouts: This goes right into doing only cardio workouts, you’re body needs the change to challenge itself. Do you go to the gym on autopilot doing the same routine every time?! This can result in the dreaded plateau many of us are faced with in our weight loss goals. Mix up your workouts not only to prevent this plateau but from preventing boredom as well. Once you become bored in your routine you’ll likely stray away as the excitement and motivation fizzle out. Try new exercise classes and focus on different aspects of your fitness routine.
- Only Focusing on The Muscles You Can See: Unfortunately our society is all into the show me muscles (such as abs, biceps and chest muscles) because this is what “shows” people you’re fit. While these muscles are important to work on, they don’t want to be your only focus. According to an article Mistakes Your Making At the Gym from FitSugar, “it’s important to work on the muscles you don’t see, especially if they are little-used in real life. You need to provide your body with balance by hitting the muscles like hamstrings, upper back, and inner glutes muscles equally to develop power and to make sure you aren’t creating imbalances.”
- Working Out Too Hard: This one may be a little confusing, as hard work in the gym is what’s going to help you shed those pounds, but there can be point where you take it too far. Working out too hard can actually inhibit in your weight loss goals. The body tries to conserve energy and therefore calories when you are pushing yourself too hard, especially without the proper nutrition. That all or nothing attitude when it comes to exercise can actually become dangerous as your body can only handle so much stress you place on it. Be sure to be start slow and safe, listen to your body as it will tell you when you’ve gone too far.
- Not Scheduling a Rest Day: This goes right along with working out too hard per exercise session, your body also can’t handle the day to day intense exercise stress you place on it when working out every day. Your body and muscles need some time to recover and replenish so they can build themselves stronger instead of being broken down day after day. As stated in Designing Your Bulk up Routine, “your body grows while you rest, not in the gym.” If you are one who doesn’t like the idea of a completely non-active day, you can always try low-impact workouts such as walking or swimming on your rest days to get you moving yet still allowing your body to rest without all the stress placed on it during your tougher workouts.
- Rushing Through Your Workout: In our busy lifestyles it’s hard enough to find the time to exercise so they often hurry through their routines to try to fit in more moves in a little amount of time. This is actually doing quite the opposite for you. It not only increases your risk of injury, but is making your workout not as effective. Instead of trying to rush each move to get to the next part, focus on the exercise you are doing making sure you have proper form and following through with the full range of motion to receive the most benefits from that exercise. This is where quality over quantity comes into play.
- Using the Fat-Burning Program: Many of us are guilty of jumping on the treadmill and pushing that “fat-burning” program in hopes it’s what’s going to help us lose our stubborn fat. While the “fat-burning” program does sound very alluring, it’s actually a bit of a gimmick. This program is designed to keep your heart rate pretty low, as some research shows that working at a lower percentage of your maximum heart rate causes you to use a higher percentage of fat for fuel. While this is true, you are burning a higher percentage of fat, you are also burning fewer calories since you are working at such a low intensity. So to save yourself time, using an interval workout over a fat-burning program will cause you to burn 100 more calories in a 30 minute time span. As we all know it’s calories in versus calories out when it comes to weight loss, which will ultimately lead to fat loss. Don’t be fooled by the alluring fat-burning words, go for the intervals to burn more calories faster.