We all make mistakes, as Sophia Loren said: “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” When it comes to fitness, it’s no different! The trick is not to keep making the same mistakes over and over again – that’s a recipe for staying stuck where you are. But you can only stop making mistakes when you know what they are, so here are 6 of the most common fitness mistakes women make (and some things you can do instead) – correct these and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your results improve!
Obsessing Over the Scale
Although weight is one factor in determining health, and fitness; it is in no way THE indicator of health, and fitness. In fact, on a regular basis I have asked my clients NOT to routinely weigh themselves. This mistake is one that is a common obsession with many women. The number DOES NOT define your health status. With that said, neither does the BMI most doctors prize. The BMI is inaccurate at best. It does not take into consideration frame, bone size, muscle mass, and much more.I could get on a soap box about the fact that they have routinely introduced to flawed idea of the BMI into the school system. I actually had a mother come to me with her 8th grade child who had been given a high BMI number. This child was very athletic, and FAR from obese. However, her BMI had her listed as obese. Just think about how many eating disorders can come from this. It burns me up!
The single most damning part of a failed fitness plan is having unrealistic expectations. Yes, you may want to look like Jillian Micheals, but that does not happen overnight. By putting too much pressure on yourself you are actually making your efforts far less fruitful. Set a realistic goal, and give yourself the time to get the results. I recommend setting these goals in small manageable steps to give yourself the motivation to continue. Giving yourself 6-8 weeks to see results toward your goal is realistic, and once you begin to see your body change it will motivate you to continue.
Sure cardio is good for the heart, body, mind, and soul. Cardio helps burn unwanted fat storage, helping people lose weight. However, there is a point where enough is enough. Doing cardio day-after-day does not burn the calories like occasional cardio does. Our body gets used to the cardio when it is a routine thing, therefore it requires less energy to do it.While it is fine to have the occasional long run, or other form of long cardio; for the most part it is best to do short cardio workouts. For fun, and to keep the body guessing, try new things lie kickboxing, Zumba, and the like.
Forgetting Less is More
This kind of intertwines with mistake No.3, however this is probably THE most common fitness mistake that I see. For many women once they get into the idea of working out, and begin to see results they kick into overdrive. This is a mistake. More is not always better. Making the most of your workout is great. But you can overdo it. I knew a woman who worked out 3 times a day, 7 days a week with no added results. Why? Because her body was worn out and in freak-out mode – over-training, spending countless hours in the gym can also lead to injury.
Using Dieting Gimmicks
You cannot flip through a magazine, or turn on the television without seeing an ad for the newest “sure fire way to lose weight”. In fact, most women have tried specific diets, and/or diet pills before. The problem is that most of these products are ineffective at best. Some are even dangerous. With that said, many people have seen results from specific diets, such as low carb. However, controlling the diet in this way is not necessary. Fats, carbs, and other specific parts of the diet all have their place. It is best to remember that constructing your eating around real food is the way to not only lose weight, but improve your health as well.
Loading Up On Carbs
While I do not believe in having a no carb diet, I do believe in a careful carb diet. Many women (and men) falsely believe that they need to load up on carbs before a work out. While your body does utilize carbs for energy (they are ideal sources) you do not need a ton of them to get that energy. To get a lean body you need to moderate your carb intake. Good options for this are sprouted grains, fruits, and vegetables. With that said, a great pre-workout food should be comprised primarily of protein and fat.