Five Common Mistakes People Make With Their Fitness Routine


Sometimes it feels like you need a PhD to sort through all the fitness information that’s out there. With so much conflicting advice, it’s easy to get confused. A good rule of thumb is balance—not doing too much exercise, not doing to little, and taking care of other aspects of your health, too. Here are five common mistakes that might be throwing your fitness routine out of balance.

Forgetting Your Motivations

In a study of New Year’s Resolutions, psychologist Richard Wiseman found that people were more likely to stick to their goals when they regularly reminded themselves of the benefits of achieving them.

For example, if you’re in recovery, make a checklist of all the benefits of maintaining your fitness routine, such as better mental health, reduced stress, and improved physical health. You’ll also have a hobby on which to focus your efforts, and to provide structure to your daily life. Some research also shows that exercise can help manage cravings for people in recovery. Write all the benefits down and review your checklist regularly to keep your motivations fresh in your mind.

Trying to Outrun a Poor Diet

Physical exercise and clean eating go hand in hand. It can be tempting to think “Well, I ran an extra mile yesterday, so I’ll treat myself to pizza today.” However, as The British Medical Journal points out, you can’t outrun a poor diet. One study found an 11-fold increase in rates of type-2 diabetes for every 150 kcals of sugar consumed—roughly equivalent to one can of Coca Cola. This was the case even accounting for activity levels. In other words, if you consume all that sugar and then burn it off through exercise, you’re still at increased risk. Make sure you eat a diet rich in vegetables and whole foods, with minimal processed food.

Doing Too Much Exercise

If you overtrain, you’ll be at a higher risk of injuries like pulled muscles, your immune system will be weaker, and you’ll be putting your heart under a lot of strain. But we all have different limits. A normal four to five days of aerobic exercise is great for most people but could be too much for those who are very unfit or who have certain medical conditions. If you’re training hard but not seeing improvements, if muscle soreness won’t go away, or if you feel generally worn out, you might be overtraining, so take your routine back a notch.

Having a Narrow Idea of Exercise

When people say they don’t like to exercise, they are usually thinking about treadmills, bootcamps, and rowing machines, torturing themselves in a poorly ventilated room full of sweaty people. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some exercise doesn’t feel like exercise at all. Do you like sword fighting, salsa dancing, rock climbing, basketball, gardening, geocaching, or hiking? Some gyms now offer “classes” of children’s games like tag. All you need to do is find a fun activity that quickens your pulse. You don’t even need to leave your house to exercise. Consider creating a home gym in your basement or garage.

Ignoring Active Recovery

If you’re regularly exercising, especially at high intensity, you should complement this with active recovery techniques. It’s a good idea to take a deloading week every four to six weeks, where you really reduce your intensity. The goal is just to get blood flowing to the muscles, not to actually challenge yourself. On top of this, getting a sports massage, foam rolling, yoga, or stretching can help your physical recovery from exercise, while activities like meditation can help calm the mind and the nervous system.

If you’ve started working on a fitness routine, you’re already ahead of the game. Now you just need to optimize your efforts and make sure you’re achieving balance in your program. If you’re making any of these five mistakes, make a plan to fix them today!

Photo: Pexels

Physical fitness and proper dieting are essential to maintaining a healthy body. This is not only important to our senior community, but to all other age groups. Thanks are due to Sheila Olson for her contribution today. Sheila Olson has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.

Respectfully,

The Owners of Holistically Devoted Assisted Living

Holistically Devoted Assisted Living Facility (HDAL) is the premier assisted living provider in Prince George's County, Maryland. At HDAL, we deliver holistic health care to our residents - by meeting all their personal needs while allowing them the dignity of being freethinking and independent adults; and we provide devoted service - by being ever-present as servants in the lives of our residents as we assist them with performing their activities of daily living.

#fitness #elderly #agingcommunity #health #exercise #diet

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