Eight Workout Mistakes:
Workout regularly is a great lifelong activity – as long as you’re not doing it the wrong way. Aside from wrong moves and positions that can wreck your muscles and break your bones, there are certain workout mistakes you are probably doing before, during, and after your workout which can lose the essence of working out and make the activity less effective. The worst part is these workout mistakes can result in serious health issues and you’re not aware of them.
So if you’re still not getting your ideal shape after a month of vigorous training, or you experience more pain than more gain, you might be committing some of these workout mistakes.
- Working out on an empty stomach
Are you guilty of working out every morning without eating breakfast or even light snacks, thinking it can add up calories? Well, this habit has to stop for it can backfire on you. You are about to wrench your body, and you may feel weak or even pass out if you don’t have reserved fuel.
So take the time to eat before your activity. The meal doesn’t have to be heavy. According to Amy Goodson, a sports dietician for the Dallas Cowboys, eating a small, pre-workout snack composed of carbohydrates and lean protein about 45 minutes before your workout is good enough to provide you with energy and improve your overall sensation during the activity. If solid foods are unbearable, try a liquid snack with whey protein, fruit, and water or milk.
- Munching on the wrong pre-workout snack
While it’s recommended to eat something before working out, you should still be mindful of what you consume. It’s not necessarily about the numbers, but the content. Refrain from foods with high-fat content for these can cause a heavy, bloated feeling in your stomach. The uncomfortable sensation hinders you from performing your best in gym exercises, running, cycling, and sports.
The time interval between your last meal and your workout is also a huge factor. Eating too soon before you exercise can cause indigestion or nausea. If you’ve had a heavy meal, it is advised to give yourself two to four hours to digest before you exercise. A 30-minute to one-hour rest is recommended after smaller meals or snacks.
- Working out with less to zero sleep
This mistake needs no introduction as we all know that sleep deprivation can kill your energy and stamina. If you’ve had a rough night and you try to exercise, your circadian rhythm or your body’s natural biological cycle will be out of sync, and you may end up feeling weaker rather than energized after working out. So go to bed and get enough Zs of at least 7 to 9 hours.
- Not being mindful of dehydration
Dehydration, even the smallest instance, causes a major negative impact on your performance. Our bodies are made up 60% water and these fluids get drained out. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll feel more exhausted, dizzy, and lethargic. You may even go home with a headache or painful cramps after pushing yourself to workout without adequate amounts of fluids,
Goodson recommends drinking 16 to 20 ounces of fluid two to four hours before your workout and another 10 ounces 10 to 30 minutes before getting started. Don’t forget to replenish your body with 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after exercising.
- Pushing yourself too much
No pain, no gain – if you’re working out to lose weight or build muscles, this quote must be one of the statements you keep repeating in your head as you run on the treadmill as fast as you can. However, it is crucial to allow yourself to rest after an intense workout. Pushing yourself too much can result in decreased performance and increased muscle soreness and tiredness.
Keep in mind that rest and recovery are just as important as intensity since you let your muscle cells to refuel and repair themselves. The time-off depends on the intensity of the workout; the more the intensity, the more rest required.
- Resting long periods
We recommend resting between sets and workouts to restore your energy and repair your muscles but recovery should not take too long. Resting too much can give you opposite results, such as lowering your heart rate which stops your body from refueling your muscles.
Again, the duration of your recovery period depends on the intensity of the exercise. In general, resting for 30 to 90 seconds in between each of your sets is good enough to maintain your vigor, keep calories burning, and keep muscles building.
- Exercising at a wrong pace
The effectivity of your workout does not solely depend on the amount of time you spend in the gym but on the intensity of your pace. A 30-minute non-stop, high-intensity workout is better than an hour long exercise with slow and leisurely pace, especially when you’re aiming to build more muscles and burn more calories.
- Not having a workout plan
When you step into the gym without a steady workout plan, you’ll end up getting bored, frustrated, or worse, executing wrong moves and techniques that could be bad for your body. Whether you’re exercising in a gym, or simply playing tennis in a court as a way of exercise, the workout plan will give you the further motivation to reach your fitness goals.
If you have a plan, you’ll know the particular number of miles you’ll target, your specific diet, and the number of calories you’ll need to burn, giving you the huge satisfaction of achieving that goal at the end of the day. You can seek help from a personal trainer who can design a program suitable for your fitness goals.
Mina Salva Cruz has always been fascinated by how sports can improve one’s overall physical and mental health in a more pleasurable way. She shares her insights by regularly writing for StrungOut, a one-stop-shop for tennis enthusiasts in Australia, providing high-quality tennis racquets, accessories, and sportswear from world-acclaimed brands since 1992.