Is Your Workout Working for You?
The sheen of the New Year is off, and the sweet treats of Valentine’s are behind you, so it’s understandable if you find yourself needing to recommit to your health, especially with warmer weather a few short months away. If you’ve been slacking off as of late, or if you’re ready to take your workout to a new level, first check to make sure the activities and exercises you choose aren’t holding you back. Some tried and true expert workout tips actually aren’t all that effective for improving your health or helping you reach your goals. And sometimes, your routine isn’t as beneficial as you think. Are you making these mistakes?
1. Going through the motions. You work out regularly, and you always stick to your full routine. But if you aren’t focused on challenging yourself, you could be simply wasting valuable time. Completing a long workout can seem like you are accomplishing a lot, but if you are only working at low to medium intensity, you are not reaping the benefits. Upping your intensity for a shorter period time is actually more beneficial to your health, and it also is better for helping your body naturally produce more Human Growth Hormone. Likewise, whether you work out in a gym or in the great outdoors, make a deal with yourself to “get in, and get out,” so to speak. Wasting time chatting, resting, or doing other little tasks will keep you from reaching your goals.
2. Using equipment that is ineffective or not challenging. You know that elliptical machine you love? If you find yourself starting off with a bang but slowing to a crawl by the end of your time, you’re not alone. Not only do machines like the elliptical and treadmills allow for mindless workouts that lack focus, they’re not great for muscle toning. While they do burn calories, you could get a more effective workout elsewhere. Plus, if your workouts only consist of an elliptical or treadmill routine, you’re missing out on critical components like weight training and bursts of intensity that are great for challenging your body.
3. Not having goals or a plan. Sure, you put in the time regularly to be active and work out. But if you don’t know why you’re doing it, your workouts will just be an aimless mishmash. You don’t have to be so regimented that you know the weight, bicep measurement and cholesterol level you want to be at in three years, but a general plan for your health is advisable. Is your aim to improve your health? Lose weight? Increase stamina and tone muscles? Push yourself to meet a goal you thought was unattainable, like climbing a mountain or running a 5k? All of those things listed are goals that allow you to have specific plans to meet them. And once you have a clear idea of where you’re heading, it will be easier for you to get there!
The bottom line is, fitness trends will come and go, so just because a workout works for one person doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Make sure you’re working out to challenge yourself, meet your personal goals, and do what’s right for your body, and you’ll never go wrong.