Exercise Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making

September 17, 2015  |  
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You know how some people just seem to love exercise, and you don’t get it? You exercise because you know you need to, but you don’t light up at the mention of it, like those glowing, jumping, giddy, exercise fiends. But you could love it. People who like exercise just found their groove with it, and you could too if you’d stop making these mistakes in the gym.

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Exercising instead of sleeping

Are you waking up at 5 a.m. to exercise, and when your alarm goes off you have a headache, you’re slightly nauseous, and it literally pains you to get up? Pick a workout time that doesn’t deprive you of sleep. If you’re low on rest, your stress level will hike up and you will just put on weight. So much for that 5 a.m. workout.

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Not keeping equipment at home

How many times have you thought, “Well, traffic is way too bad to make it to the gym now. I guess no workout today!” If you kept simple items like a jump rope and some weights at home, you’d have no excuse.

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Exercising when you’re exhausted

If your body feels completely drained, that’s probably because it is completely drained. If you don’t recognize when your body needs a break and push yourself through a workout, you might end up feeling too drained to exercise for days afterward.

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Not exercising when you’re energized

With the last point in mind, you should also acknowledge when you’re wired! Use that! Exercise it out. Recognize your high energy and low energy points of the day, and work with and around those.

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Exercising hungry

You’re probably going to cut your workout short if you’re absolutely starving. Have a small, protein-filled snack—just enough to stave off the hunger but also energize you—before a workout.

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Exercising after a meal

That being said, do not work out after a big meal. Some might tell you that you can work out an hour after a big meal. But really, your body is still in the middle of several metabolic processes at that point and will weigh you down.

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Getting a trainer when you’re not training

If you’re an athlete preparing for a marathon, by all means, get a trainer. But if you just want to keep healthy, a trainer might become your crutch. You might think, “I don’t need to work out today because I’m seeing my trainer tomorrow.”

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Believing in targeted weight loss

There is no such thing as only losing weight in one part of your body, so stop spending all of your time on ab crunches or squats while ignoring other workouts.

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Only going to the gym

If you don’t feel like being inside for your workout, then don’t be! Listen to the call of nature. Go for a jog on the beach or for a swim. If you believe the gym is your only option, you might skip your workout entirely because you don’t want to be stuck indoors.

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Looking at the next person’s machine

Do not look at what level the woman next to you has her treadmill set to, or how long the woman on the other side of you has been on the bike. You can use them as motivation to work harder, but the last thing you want is to give up on your workout because you’re not moving at their pace.

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Reading a book

Trying to read on the treadmill is like trying to read in the car—you’re not focused on what’s important.

 

 

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Leaving entertainment behind

That being said, do bring entertainment along! Watch one of the TVs mounted on the wall, or listen to music. This will keep you going longer. If all you hear is your own breathing and the beeping of machines, you’ll get tired fast and want to stop.

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Going solo

Make exercise social sometimes. If you and your friend make it a gym date, you’re likely to spend more time there. You’ll work out a little, chat a little, and then move onto another machine and maybe even a workout class. You will motivate one another to work harder.

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Separating cardio and weight training

There shouldn’t be a treadmill day, then a legs day, then an elliptical day, and then arms day. Mix it up to keep all of your body constantly improving, agile and energized.

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Stretching

What you should be doing is mini-exercises to warm up, like butt kicks or jogging in place. This will give you better flexibility, plus it will gradually increase your heart rate and get you pumped for your workout.

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