5 Fitness Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
By Tanya Stroh
Small over looked details can truly sabotage your fitness efforts! You know the importance of fitness and exercise, you hit the gym on a regular basis, you are eating healthier but you are still not quite feeling and seeing the results. Instead of giving up; simply avoid these little pitfalls that can really derail your efforts!
1. Doing too much cardioCardio exercise is important to increase endurance and improve cardiovascular health, but it is the combination of strength training along with cardio that will give you the best results.
Think of it this way, when you are on a treadmill, elliptical or riding a bike you are burning extra calories when you stop exercising that additional calorie burn stops as well. When you are strength training, the additional calories burned can last a couple hours or more depending on how hard you are working.
2. Making the gym a social eventHow hard are you actually exercising? It is always a good idea to have an exercise buddy for motivation but when gym time becomes more social your fitness results will suffer. Time to work harder and up the intensity if:It is easy to chat and read when you are doing cardioYou are not out of breath and your heart rate does not go upYou have not changed up your routine in monthsYou do not need a shower after exercising
3. Using the wrong exercise protocolDo you want to lose weight or tighten, tone and sculpt your muscles or get strong? In order to accomplish each one of these specific goals you need to follow a distinct exercise protocol. For example; to lose weight, along with your cardio exercise you need to incorporate a strength training routine that includes this protocol; a full body fitness routine at least 2 non consecutive days per week using light to medium weights with 12 to 20 reps and 2 to 3 sets of each exercise.
4. After workout treatsBe careful if you reward your self with a treat for working out, you can always 'over eat' the calories that you burned during your workout. For the average exerciser, experts recommend a healthy snack of about 100 to 200 calories that includes protein and carbohydrates; "Men's Fitness" suggests a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein. A good example is an apple with 1 tbsp of peanut butter or low-fat yogurt with granola.
5. Exercising in the wrong orderNo matter what kind of exercise you are doing, you should always warm up for at least 8 to 10 minutes. After a warm up strength training comes first because you always want your body the freshest and strongest when lifting weights. Cardio should always follow strength training because it is tiring and wears you out. Last should be flexibility, yoga or Pilates because they stretch out your muscles. Remember to always end your workouts with an easy stretch routine and a cool down! Use as many different types of exercises as you can in your workouts, but remember the proper order so you get the best benefit!
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