In fact I'd say it's pretty simple.... it may not be the easiest thing for people to be consistent, but the actual things are simple and straightforward.
That being said, there are many mistakes or wrong turns people can make which cause confusion, frustration, and can even result in giving up.
So, here are the top 8 fitness mistakes you should be aware of and avoid:
1. Ignoring the Mental Muscle: exercising the body is critical, but what good is a really great fitness program if your way of coping with stress is to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's? You must train your brain to develop healthy coping strategies, a positive mental outlook, and habits that match your goals.
2. Treating Saturday/Sunday Differently From Monday - Friday: I know so many people who pride themselves on "being so good during the week" but then "going crazy and off the rails" on the weekend. This approach just won't work. Any day that ends in d-a-y matters!!! The key is to find a way of being that is balanced enough where you don't feel like you need to indulge like crazy on the weekends.
3. Focusing on "low fat" foods vs. Eating Real, Wholesome Foods: Filling your grocery cart with fat-free cookies, low-fat ice cream, and sugar-free candy is NOT a recipe for success. When the fat or sugar is removed, it is replaced with a long line of chemicals. These are not natural and your body doesn't know how to process or metabolise them. Often, even with things such as Diet Coke, the body still craves sugar and other sweet things just the same. Get used to eating fresh, wholesome foods that were grown naturally on this earth!
4. Overtraining: This is a way to guarantee burnout, fast. When a person is getting started on a weight loss journey, often they will over do it and attempt to train 7 days per week, or train twice per day. Yes, some very high level athletes train daily or twice a day, but they are being monitored and cared for by many other professionals to make sure that they don't overtrain themselves. If you are just starting out, take it slow. Get your body used to exercise, and allow your brain the time to build this activity into a daily habit that sticks.
5. Undertraining: Yes- the opposite of overtraining can be true for people. If you are aiming to lose 20lbs or drop 10% body fat, it will not happen just by doing the elliptical machine for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. The amount of training you do must be in line with the goal you have. You wouldn't try to run the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon by only running 3 miles per week.... I hope 😉!!
6. Using a Training Program Too Long Without Changing It Up: At Lucky13, we give all of our clients training programs to do at home, while they travel, or any other time they're not in the studio with us. But we make sure to change the program up every 6-8 weeks. If you try to achieve your goals by following a program from Women's Health or Men's Fitness, you'll see that it will be effective at the start, and then you'll hit a plateau. You must continually keep your body challenged, so change up (progress) your programming every 6-8 weeks or as needed.
7. Not Developing Daily Habits: This one brings it right back home to #1... part of training the brain is developing daily habits that help to keep you moving toward your goals. Of course, this includes exercise, making positive and supportive nutrition choices, keeping a positive attitude, and managing stress in healthy ways. But it can go beyond that to incorporating mediation (5-10 mins is all you need), reading a positive daily affirmation, writing down or typing out daily gratitudes, etc. All of these habits help to keep an overall mood and feeling of self-care and positivity... and they can make or break the long-term chances of success and happiness.
8. Doing Someone Else's Workout: It's not that a general workout won't bring change at all, but more so that doing a workout created for the masses will only progress you in a slow way. For the best results with the most efficiency (lets face it- we are all busy and nobody has extra time to waste!) you should be doing a training program that was created for YOU. Your goals, your body, your fitness level, your injury or medical history, and your life all need to be taken into consideration. Doing a custom made program will give you the reassurance that you're doing the very best you can to get the results that you want.
There you have it- my top 8 fitness mistakes that you should avoid! Hope this helps you navigate your journey a little bit easier.