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5 Fitness Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

5 Fitness Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

Trying to live a healthier lifestyle and getting fit is a long process, especially if you’re not a very active person to begin with. Sometimes you hit a point where you just want to quit because you haven’t gotten the results you wanted yet, or because it seems like nothing is working. Looking back at some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past that have hindered my progress towards a healthy lifestyle, I can pinpoint exact issues or problems I had that were holding me back. There’s a good chance that you too have made at least one or more of these mistakes, but you probably didn’t realize how much they were holding you back.

With that said, here are 5 fitness mistakes that may be holding you back and stopping you from getting the results you want.

1: Spending Too Much Money

Loading up on all the latest gadgets, equipment, and workout apparel you can find won’t help you lose weight or get fit any more quickly. In fact, the only thing that will be getting lighter is you wallet. A few late night infomercials and that new Ab Blaster 3000 starts to look like the solution to all your fitness problems. Seeing ripped fitness models using that great new equipment might give you some temporary motivation but after you’ve bought the Iron Gym, Perfect Pushup, and whatever else is the newest craze, and you haven’t actually used any of it, you’ll start to realize it was just a waste.

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Instead of buying more and more equipment, focus on just using whatever resources you already have available. All you have to do is start putting in the work and the results will come.

2: Over-Planning

Planning ahead and scheduling is great, but when something throws your schedule off it can ruin your entire journey. Don’t stress over being exact and getting everything down to the tee so much. I think having a schedule as far as what areas you want to focus on is great, but breaking it down to the exact exercise you want to do and limiting yourself to just those is over-planning. Get a general idea going and then go with what feels natural.

Let’s say you have a schedule of going to the gym Monday-Friday. You create the schedule down to the hour of when you’re going to go, but something comes up on Monday and you have to go a little later than you planned. So you miss that day and say you’ll just go Tuesday morning. But then you don’t wake up on time and end up missing that workout. Before you know it, it’s Friday and you haven’t been to the gym once. This is the damage that over-planning can do and why you should try to avoid it.

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3: Socializing Too Much At the Gym

The gym is not a nightclub or a hang-out spot. You should be going to the gym with one thing on your mind, so give it all you have. Standing around socializing will severely hold you back in your fitness journey. Going to the gym with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated and get you through the workout, but you shouldn’t be spending more  time talking than working.

If you leave the gym without a drop of sweat on you but you somehow managed to plan out your entire weekend while you were there, you’re socializing way too much. A great tip to avoid this is to wear headphones while you’re there to keep your mind on your workout and block out everything else.

4: Being Inconsistent

Consistency is key when you’re trying to get fit, and working out one week but going M.I.A the next is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You have to get some sort of consistency going in order to make sure you get great results and don’t end up giving up. The longer you go without working out, the less likely you will be to return.

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This is probably one of the reasons I like the idea of paying for a gym membership so much—you’re much more motivated to consistently go to the gym if you’re paying for it. Otherwise it’s like you’re throwing money away each month. Once you start going regularly, you’ll start to feel weird when you miss a day. That’s because you’ve made the gym a part of your regular routine and you almost need to go in order to function properly.

5: Being Too Scared

Fear is probably one of the biggest things holding you back. You might be scared of:

  • Being judged
  • Giving up
  • Failing
  • Not getting the results you want quick enough

You have to overcome these fears if you ever want to reach your full fitness potential. You have to keep your eyes on the prize and just keep working. Fear not only stops you from going to the gym, but  it can also prevent you from giving it your all while you’re there.

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What’s stopping you from getting the body you want?

 

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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