A workout habit is great to have. It keeps us healthier and happier. However, although we have the best intentions, sometimes there are things that we do (or don’t do) that may impact our workout negatively. Here are 8 seemingly harmless habits that may be hurting your workouts:
- You haven’t set any goals.
Workout goals can really be a great tool to motivate you to get to the gym. Try making smaller goals and work towards that goal every day to help you feel more accomplished at the end of your workout.
- You work out on an empty stomach.
Your body needs fuel to function properly. When you eat your body turns the food into fuel that your muscles store and release when you exercise. Eat a handful of trail mix, a Greek yogurt, a low-fiber granola bar, or even whole-grain toast with a nice dose of peanut butter about 20 to 30 minutes before hitting the gym, and your body will be ready to go!
- You drink too much water before you work out.
Drinking water before, during, and after you work out is critical to avoiding dehydration; however, drinking too much water can leave you with cramps, or make you feel nauseous. Take sips, rather than forcing it down.
- You drink a protein shake before you work out.
You body will not turn the food into fuel fast enough to get any benefits. Eat carbohydrates instead and save your protein for after the gym.You eat a huge mealbefore working out. Digestion takes a lot of energy and adding more strain will fatigue your body faster during your workout, which in turn means you don’t accomplish much at the gym.
- You eat something high in fiberbefore working out.
Fiber is great when you’re trying to lose weight, but not right before a workout. Fiber is digested slowly, it will give you a slow, steady flow of energy. However, before a workout, you want something that will give you a boost of energy so you can work harder, longer, getting the most out of your workout.
- Getting stuck in a workout rut.
If you aren’t challenging your body, it won’t burn any calories. Inevitably, your body will get used to whatever your routine is at the gym, meaning it won’t burn the same amount of calories. Change up your routine!
- You miss out on sleep to go to the gym.
When your body is running off little sleep, it has a hard time keeping things running smoothly like your nervous system, balance, focus, and it struggles to burn calories efficiently. Even if you manage to power through your workout, you may end up cutting your workout short and won’t be able to work your hardest and burn the calories.
Starting (or sticking to) a consistent workout routine can often be overwhelming and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right tools and the right mindset. Most of the habits I mentioned above can easily be changed, and when you do, they will make you and your workouts feel so much better. Keep an open-mind and be flexible, and you will be rewarded when you successfully hit your health & fitness goals!