Did you break all your health-related resolutions of 2016 yet again? We know the feeling of binge eating and sporadic workout regimens. But, let 2017 be the year of determination and change. This year let health be a priority. We list down five fitness mistakes that you may have been making all this while that are keeping you from achieving your body goals.
1. Love for cardio
Most of us are under the impression that running for hours on the treadmill will help us burn calories and eventually lose weight. Yes, running does get your heart rate high and help you burn calories, but don't rely solely on cardio for a chiseled body.
Packing on some muscle does go a long way in burning calories. This holds true for both men and women.
Lifting weights must be an integral part of your routine. Not only does it help tone your body and build lean mass, but it also enhances your body's ability to burn calories. A pound of muscle uses about 75 to 150 calories a day, while a pound of fat only needs 3 calories a day. Packing on some muscle does go a long way in burning calories. This holds true for both men and women.
2. Anti-protein mentality
The average fitness seeker isn't well versed with the human body and how it functions. I have seen a lot of people shun protein shakes on the assumption that it is "unnatural" and "harmful" for the body. Let me break this down for you. Just as your needs fuel to run, your muscles need proteins for growth and recovery. Even if you don't want to have a shake, there are other substitutes like meat, eggs, cottage cheese, yoghurt etc. Protein shakes just happen to be convenient.
Proteins do not make you fat or harm your body. They are essential for your development. When you work out, your muscles require amino acids to repair the broken down tissue. Lack of protein puts your body in a catabolic state, which means your body will break down your muscle for energy. This beats the whole point of you working out in the first place.
3. Socializing more than required at the gym
This is something any gym rat would relate to. Don't you just hate it when you're in the middle of an intense workout and can't use a machine because the person using it is busy chatting with his buddy about the movie he watched the previous night?
On a more serious note, avoid taking a break longer than two minutes in between sets. Rest time in between sets is a major contributor to the quality of your workout. You rest too little and you tire out quickly; rest too long and you lose your pump. You should look to enter the gym and go through your workout with minimum distractions.
You all have been here at some point (or probably still are)! You pay up for an annual membership but don't use the gym for more than three months! What a waste of money! This year, don't make resolutions to lose weight/quit drinking/get a six pack or any of the usual drama. Set a realistic and simple target for yourself. Be regular with your workouts. That's the first step. Results will surely follow. Don't just wish for it. Work for it!
5. Incorrect form
This is an issue with even the most seasoned professionals. In order to rack up the weights and smash their own personal records, they end up sacrificing the right form, which leads to severe injuries. Your muscles don't know what the label on the dumbbell reads. Your muscle only recognises stress. Don't run after the heavy weights. Go light, but get your form right. The weights will go up eventually.