First, we partnered with ProForm on this infographic on how to build a fitness habit, and then we shared how to fit healthy habits in the craziest of schedules and how to make fitness habits stick. Today Kevin Jones is back with the fitness habits you need to break up with, like right now. Kevin is a freelance writer and fitness instructor/consultant, writing for companies such as ICON Fitness for both the NordicTrack and ProForm brands. Connect with Kevin online on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Sometimes a wake-up call can be the difference in taking your goals to the next level. Naturally we all get accustomed to our ways without ever realizing we might be doing more bad than good for our bodies. Below are six common fitness habits that hold fitness enthusiasts back every day.
1. Your Form Stinks
Lifting heavier and running faster is always a great accomplishment. But unless you’re using your body correctly, you may be holding yourself back. Correct form is what allows you to properly work your muscles to improve their strength and, most importantly, avoid injury. Avoid compromising your form just to get that last heavy rep in. Work your muscles steadily and in time you’ll reach your goals and increase your strength.
2. You Overwork Yourself
Fitness addiction is a real thing. Working out every day, becoming obsessed with how long you stay at the gym, using all your strength when you first start and not allowing your body to rest limits your fitness success. Our muscles need rest in order to repair, grow and function properly. Pace your workouts, utilize rest days and eat healthy meals to speed up your recovery process.
3. You Slack Off
Never get too comfortable where you are. With fitness, the goal is to make slow and steady gains. So, if you jogged on the treadmill at 5 mph last week, try jogging a little faster this week. If you’ve been curling 8 pounds for the past two weeks, aim for 10 pounds the next time you work those arms. The more you challenge your muscles, the better your results. (Just remember no. 2 and take adequate rest!)
4. Losing Focus
Sometimes we get lost when we’re jogging on the treadmill. Getting in that fitness zone is always fun, but if you stay zoned out too much you lose focus on your goals. Always find ways to make your workouts interactive so that you stay focused on the task at hand. Leave all other thoughts out the door and focus on how much achieving your fitness goals will mean to you.
5. Getting Comfortable in Your Routine
Another common fitness mistake people make is sticking to a routine. We love sticking with what works for us, but unless we change our training up every several weeks, we’ll eventually hit a plateau. Our muscles learn quickly, so the more diverse your workout is, the better they respond to the shock in movements and sequence.
6. Forgetting to Breathe
In fitness, your breath is your power. Breathing properly is what gives your muscles that extra boost of energy to get through those last reps. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth as you go through your movements, and feel the difference it makes in form and energy.
Success for Today
Once you kick these fitness habits out the door, a whole new fitness world will open up for you. You’ll find more ways to challenge yourself, more ways to push through your workouts and most importantly you’ll find new and faster results as you tackle your goals.
What fitness habit do you need to break up with? —Kevin Jones