Your guide to the fitness DON’Ts for 2016

Three months into the New Year and you have all your fitness goals
and targets planned out – you’ve got the enthusiasm, the time, and have
already started working towards most of them.

Whether you’re hitting the gym or are starting something new for your
fitness regime, there are few errors that even the most seasoned
fitness enthusiasts knowingly or unknowingly tend to make time and time
again. These errors or mistakes could be simple habits, diet related,
forms or postures of workout, or you could be falling for a growing
trend that is doing much harm than good.

We have identified a few common mistakes that we have seen
colleagues, friends, and gym buddies make and if you’re making any of
these, NOW is the best time to stop.

1) Working out on an empty stomach– Seen as a very
common practice especially amongst people who are on a mission to lose
weight. Food/Nutrition acts as a source of fuel for the body to burn and
go that extra mile when you are training or exercising. What many fail
to realize is that working out on an empty stomach doesn’t burn fat but
eats into the muscle. So if your strenuous fitness routine isn’t paying
any dividends, this is something to look into. The idea is not to eat a
lot or not eat all it is to eat right.

2) Don’t gulp water– Hydrating yourself at regular
intervals during your workout is essential, especially during the
summers or in the heat. What people fail to realize is how much water
one must consume in between sets or routines. People tend to chug or
gulp down large amounts water after an intense cardio session or any
routine for that matter. Gulping down large amounts of water at a time
can not only cause stomach cramps but also cause hyponatremia, also
called water intoxication. Overhydrating can lead to low amounts of
sodium in the body, causing dizziness, cramps, slurred speech, and
nausea. Stick to consuming small amounts of water during workouts and
for the longer and intense workouts switch to energy drinks to replace
lost electrolytes.

3) Repeating Workouts– Having a fixed exercise
routine is one way to ensure you’re sticking to your fitness goals, but
it can also have its negatives. Doing the same exact workout day in and
day out, can not only be boring but, can also lead to repetitive stress
injuries. Repetition can also lead to plateauing in your
fitness/weight-loss goals. So ensure you’re fitness regime this year
involves mixing up your workouts and working on variations to increase
your overall body strength.

4) Warm ups – A very common reason for fitness and
gym
related injuries. People tend to skip the warm up due to a shortage
of time or may be because it doesn’t lead to or show any result, but
what they probably don’t know (due to lack of knowledge) is that warm up
exercises prepare the body for your actual workout. It slow increases
your heart rate and circulation; helps loosen the joints and increase
blood flow to the muscles. So make it a point never to skip the warm up
exercises.

5) Don’t ignore your weakness: We all have favorite
exercises we enjoy doing more than others, for the simple reason we are
good at them. A very common sight at the gym is where you see people
focusing only on their arms or abs and forgetting about the rest of the
body. This year, take a step back and identify those weak spots (core,
legs, chest, back, etc.) and then set about making them your strengths.
Focus on your weak areas and it won’t be long before you become the
whole package.

6) Do not skip leg day: People tend to make a huge
mistake by focusing only on their upper body. The so-called mirror
muscles core, back, and arms are typically more noticeable and that is
what people tend to focus on. The lower body is home to some of the
biggest muscles in the body, so ignoring them will lead to an even
bigger mistake. This year focus on a fitness regime or workout that
challenge your lower body and you will be rewarded with benefits like
higher metabolism, burn calories faster, increased stamina, and you will
reduce the risk of injury to name a few from the umpteen benefits. So
never say no to leg day!

7) Cardio is not your solution to weight loss:
Cardio is essential and central to weight loss, but if you spend more
than 50% of your time on cardio you aren’t doing your body any good. So
step away from the cardio machine and include weight training in your
fitness regime. Weight training helps improve the shape of your body and
also helps drain its glycogen storage, so with a 20-minute cardio and
30 minute weights session your body will burn maximum fat.

8) Stay focused on your goals: The most important
thing to remember, stay focused on your goals and don’t give up mid-way
due to lack of results. Just work harder and stay focused on what you
want to achieve through your fitness regime, and remember Rome was not
built in a day!

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