Getting into shape is one of the most important commitments you can make for your health and your mental well being. When the New Year rolls around many people make the time honored resolution of starting a fitness program. While a few stick with their commitment, most fall by the way side after a few weeks. Of those who continue to exercise, not all will achieve the firm toned body and heart that they had envisioned. Why is it that despite exercising on a daily basis, there are some who fail to reach their fitness goals? Here are five common exercise mistakes that can keep you from achieving the body and fitness level of your dreams.
Doing the same workout every day
This is one of the most common reasons why you may fail to see results. If you follow the same fitness routine each time you exercise, your body will eventually adjust to the intensity level and stop making gains. You may see results when you first start your workout, but over time your weight plateaus and so does your motivation. The key to getting continued results is to mix up your workouts so you’re doing a different routine on a daily, or at least a weekly basis. While it’s commendable to exercise, repetitiveness is the kiss of death when it comes to fitness.
Eating more to compensate for exercising
When you go to the gym and work out for an hour, you justifiably feel virtuous. You got out there and did it! Don’t make the mistake of going home and treating yourself to that ice cream sundae. Studies have shown that people who exercise frequently compensate by eating more calories. Somewhere in the back of your mind is that little voice telling you, “I was good today so I deserve it”. The way to continue to lose weight is to be as conscientious about what goes in your mouth as you are about exercising.
Having the wrong goal
Yes, losing weight and looking good is a goal, but it may not be the best one when it comes to motivation. Studies have shown that people who exercise only to look better are less likely to achieve their fitness goals than those who exercise to improve their health. Make sure you have defined, tangible goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, and long-term basis and that you’re exercising for the right reason.
The perfection complex
This complex causes the downfall of many exercise plans. You’ve been exercising for a few weeks and end up having to work late, making it impossible to do your full workout. Instead of exercising for a reduced time period, even ten minutes, you skip. The next morning you feel like a fitness failure and quickly lose your enthusiasm for exercise because you don’t have time to “do it right”. Any time spent exercising is better than none at all. You should never consider yourself to be a failure because you miss a few workouts. Instead of giving up, jump back in and do what you have time for. Set your alarm clock thirty minutes early if you have to.
Not focusing on the task at hand
Another common mistake that can keep you from making fitness gains is using exercise as a time to socialize. While it can be helpful to have an exercise buddy who shares similar goals as you, don’t make the mistake of exercising with someone who lacks motivation. This will only hinder you in your attempts to reach your fitness goals. If possible, exercise with someone who’s an old pro and can push you a little. Also, don’t use the exercise club as a social center. You’re not going to burn many calories standing around talking. If you need more motivation and can afford it, schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer. This can be money well spent.
Don’t let these common exercise mistakes keep you from maximizing your fitness level. Stay focused and you’ll get the results you’re trying to achieve.