4 Workout Habits You Need to Break
When it comes to personal fitness, it is easy to fall into a routine. But with a regular routine come habits that might be setting you back on your personal fitness journey. It is important to be mindful of the daily choices you make as part of your fitness routine. Here are four workout habits you need to break now:
- Daily workouts.
A regular exercise routine is important, but it is possible that you're spending too much time on your workouts. Rest is just as essential as exercise when it comes to a comprehensive fitness routine. Proper rest allows muscles — and the brain — to recover between sweat sessions. This also helps to reduce the risk of injury or muscle strain. The amount of rest needed can be dependent on a person's personal fitness level and the intensity of a workout, so pay attention to the signs your body is sending and talk to a doctor if you are in doubt.
- Overstretching your muscles before a workout.
For most people, limbering up before a workout is just part of the routine. But static stretching, or holding positions for a certain length of time, does not necessarily help prevent soreness or tight muscles. While stretches can help improve flexibility, overextending your body can put you at risk for injury. A simple morning stretch routine, such as this one from Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland, can help you wake up and feel good throughout the day.
- Skipping meals around workouts to cut calories.
Focus on making healthy choices about your meals and snacks to reduce calories, rather than skipping meals all together. While research does suggest there might be some benefits to working out on an empty stomach, properly fueling your body for a workout is essential. According to Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, "You need to fuel and refuel to train hard and recover appropriately."
- Pushing through the pain and ignoring the signs.
Most of us have heard the old saying: "No pain, no gain." It is important to mix up your fitness routine and aim for personal growth. But ignoring the signals your body is sending can lead to hard-to-heal injuries, including sprains and muscle tears. Pain or discomfort might also be a sign that you're doing an exercise incorrectly, so paying attention to form is essential as well.
Good habits can help set you up for success along your fitness journey.