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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 March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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