The simple math says that well over 50% of us are doing things wrong given current obesity levels. Here are some hidden problems you might not realize you’re doing, and a little reminder of some of the obvious ones that you’re pretending you don’t do!
Me First. This is a great movement I’ve seen featuring a website and Twitter parties, and it very, very much applies to fitness too. Me First means you plan your day around your health. Think about diet, but think about moving too. How many of us actually do this?
Hydration. We often eat when really we’re thirsty. We need to retool our senses to distinguish the difference between the two. The rule of thumb of 64 ounces is actually pretty accurate, but here’s a great post to find out exactly how much water you need to drink each day.
Sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep affects our whole day and chronic/severe lack of sleep can affect us for days, weeks, or even months. How many people feel like exercising when they’re tired? Or if you actually make it through the workout are you really giving it your all? A good night’s sleep gives you lots of energy for your whole life, not just exercise. This chart will let you know how lack of sleep can kill you! (Really …)
Sleep walk your workouts. Too many of you have been doing the same routine for so long that you can almost just send your sneakers around the block to do it for you. Your body is completely conditioned to your form of exercise and hasn’t been challenged in months. It’s time to shake things up with a new type of movement altogether, or add in cross-training days, or pick a new goal with your usual routine. If you’re a 5K Fred, try to either drop some time from your PR or stretch a bit for an 8K or 10K.
Not using the proper gear. Those sneakers from college might not be the best bet for your workout. The sports bra you bought two sizes and 10 years ago might not be helping the girls much either. Shorts that ride up your butt (I did that yesterday!) can make for a really annoying workout. Dress appropriately and you’ll enjoy your workout a whole lot better.
Assuming you know it all. I read recently that only 9% of Americans consult a personal trainer in any given year but 54% check in with a doctor for an injury or illness. Why do we seek medical advice to stay healthy but just assume we know what we’re doing when we start working out? Both are just two aspects of the same thing, getting and staying healthy. And I bet that 54% number would be a lot lower with a personal trainer to keep you safe.
Getting good advice. Which leads me right into the next thing you’re doing wrong: taking advice from questionable sources. Your reality TV weight loss show probably isn’t the best place for guidance and a coffee klatch with your friends might not steer you in the right direction either. Make sure you’re getting credible advice from good sources before you put something in your body or go off on a fitness kick.
Tailoring your fitness. Just because your friend is a Zumba fan doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The thumpa, thumpa of the Latin beat is great for some people, but others need the Zen and quiet of a yoga class. Perhaps running a marathon is a great idea for your daughter, but not the best option for the slightly older you. Tailor your fitness to your needs. Listen to your body and find a combo that works well for you.
Dressing in sweats won’t get you fit. I had to throw a snarky one in! I see it all the time in my little neighborhood, people wearing sneakers and sweats as if they’re going to exert themselves soon, when really they’re just holding court in the local coffee shop. Hey, you, get off your bum and go for a brisk walk with one of the coffee buddies after you’ve drained your java.
Distracted workouts. I’ve been noticing this trend particularly with the social media set. I’ve seen at least three people text as they’re literally running down the street. What an awesome way to get yourself killed! I’ve been guilty of throwing my iPad on my Spin bike handlebars and tweeting. It is exercise but it’s not ideal. Focus on your workouts and give them your full attention in order to get the most out of it. You’ll see results a LOT sooner.
So how many are you guilty of? I’ve definitely done my fair share of the above over the years. Hopefully I don’t do it for too long and either adjust my thinking or my routine and go from there. Please feel free to add your own too.