Mistakes are inevitable and failure is how you learn. Honestly, I’ve been making mistakes in the gym and in my nutrition for YEARS. Thanks to the Internet, and social media, it’s easier than ever to learn from others and improve every day.
Here are 5 fitness mistakes I commonly see (and may have been guilty of myself!)
- Not doing your research. Fitness and health are complicated topics. There are millions of ways to achieve optimal health, hundreds of different diet theories, and tons of types of exercise. Before jumping right in it’s important to conduct the proper research. Speak to your health professional to find out what your body can and cannot do/eat. Seek out a coach or trainer to get you on the right track. Play around with a well-balanced diet until you find what works for you – don’t just jump on a trend-train because #Everyone’sDoingIt.
- Too much too soon. I’m an all-in type of girl, someone who either gives 100% or 0%, so I understand the mindset of, “I’m diving head first at full speed.” But sometimes, especially when it comes to fitness, this leads to burning out rather quickly. Assess your schedule and abilities first, then format a routine that challenges you but fits your life. If you’re pumping out 12-15 hour days at work, you might consider putting sleep before the gym (some days). You want to make a lifestyle change that lasts a lifetime. Not a quick fix that burns out fast.
- Trend chasing. Fitness is the new “it thing.” Everyone is into it these days and everyone is a professional – just look at Instagram. It seems like every single day a new trendy workout or diet pops up and as long as someone famous slaps their name on it, people will follow. I’m not saying trends always fail, I’m just saying before you jump on the bandwagon, do your research.
- Skimping on sleep. Did you know, science recently discovered that sleep is more important to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight than exercise is? That means you can be hitting your training hard every single day, but if you’re not getting enough z’s, you won’t see the results you’re looking for. I’m a firm believer in pushing yourself even when you don’t feel like it, but if you’re genuinely lacking enough sleep, go home and snooze instead of pumping iron.
- Not eating enough of the right stuff. Nutrition is a complicated and touchy subject. It’s also something I’m not qualified to coach you on (I’ll leave that to the RDs!) But what I do know is you have to eat enough in order to build muscle and burn fat, and it has to be the right stuff. I’m talking lots of plant material, a balanced mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, loads of water, and a treat now and then. If you’re sweating your butt off in the gym and working your muscles hard, your body needs the fuel. Now go grab a banana and get to work.
If you’re guilty of any or all of these mistakes don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all been there. Fitness is a journey – one you’ll be on for the rest of your life, so there’s lots of time for learning. Keep reading and keep putting in the work.