Working out might seem simple enough when you start off, but there’s more to it than you think. It isn’t just about picking out the right gym and instructor and indulging in a fitness routine mindlessly. It’s also about a lot of other things – like the right routine, a nutritious diet, and good sleep – that you should always keep in mind to gain maximum benefit.
So, if you’re diligently working out and not seeing any results, you’re probably making mistakes that can easily be avoided. Here are 7 such mistakes that might cancel out the effects of a great workout.
1. Eating When You Shouldn’t
You need to eat right for your workout to do you good. However, eating right doesn’t just mean eating nutritious food; it also means eating at the right time. Trainers say that the best time to eat is between 20 minutes to one hour after exercising. So, keep an eye on your clock after your workout to time your food habits right.
2. Not Getting Enough Sleep
While it’s natural and completely okay to not get sufficient sleep occasionally, regular loss of sleep affects the way your body functions. Research suggests that frequently getting insufficient sleep may cause you to lose muscle mass and affect muscle recovery after exercise.1 So, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, chances are your workout isn’t going to be as effective as you hoped it would be.
3. Assuming That Pain Equals Gain
If you’re wondering why your muscles aren’t too sore after an intense workout, there’s no reason to be concerned. More pain doesn’t really signify an effective workout. On the contrary, it probably means that your muscles are recovering well and you’ve been eating healthily.
4. Using Machines To Track Your Progress
If your primary workout goal is to lose weight and you’re relying on a weighing scale to track your progress, you’re likely to be disappointed. A weighing scale may show no change in weight even if you’ve been working out diligently. This is probably because you’ve lost the excess fat in your body and gained muscle instead, which only means you’re getting stronger. A more reliable method of figuring out if your weight loss is on track is by using a caliper to check your body fat measurements. You’ll also be able to tell if you’ve lost weight if your clothes are fitting you better.
5. Switching From One Routine To Another Too Often
Following the crowd is probably one of the worst things you can do to yourself while working out. While fitness trends often go in and out of fashion, you need to choose what suits you the best and stick to it. Switching from one trend to another every now and then is not going to benefit you in any way because you never keep at one thing long enough to be able to get good at it, leaving you a jack of all trades. Listen to your body and pick the fitness routine that makes you feel comfortable instead of going by the latest fitness fad.
6. Getting Too Comfortable With One Routine
Being comfortable while working out is important. However, change is just as crucial. If you stick to one routine for too long, you’re bound to get to a point where you stop benefiting from it. Your body gets used to your workout over time and stops responding adequately. This is also likely to happen if you overtrain. Mixing things up a little can keep your body and mind challenged, improving the effects of your workout. Consult your trainer and ask him/her to incorporate different exercises into your workout for increased benefit.
7. Doing Way Too Little Or Way Too Much Cardio
There needs to be a balance in the amount of time you spend on different parts of your workout. And many people often go wrong with the duration of their cardio routines. Very little cardio doesn’t help you much with the calories you’re trying to burn. But, at the same time, too much of it can cause you to exhaust yourself more than necessary. Trainers often recommend a cardio workout that lasts 25–45 minutes, which they call the fat burning zone. A workout in line with this duration is likely to give you the best results.
So, the next time you work out, ensure that you don’t make these mistakes to get the most out of your fitness routine.
|↑1||Dattilo, Murilo, H. K. M. Antunes, A. Medeiros, M. Mônico Neto, H. S. Souza, S. Tufik, and M. T. De Mello. “Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis.” Medical hypotheses 77, no. 2 (2011): 220-222.|