It’s easy to think you’re doing great when in actuality you’re headed toward fatal fitness fails that can completely dismantle your progress. No matter how well you do on the treadmill or weight room, there are certain steps you should always take to make sure you’re avoiding disaster.
Don’t Let Yourself Head Toward These Fatal Fitness Fails
Use the following strategies to make sure you avoid these mistakes that can lead to fatal fitness fails before you know it.
1. Skipping a Cooldown
Once you’re done the main part of your workout, it’s tempting to just head back home from the gym. After all, you’ve done what you need to do, right? This is possibly the most common of all fatal fitness flaws. You’ll hold back your progress, your recovery, and increase your risk of injury if you don’t take the time for a brief cooldown.
Skipping a cooldown can bring on increased swelling and tightness, more muscle soreness, raised and raised muscle fatigue. The reason is that blood is still rushing to your muscles. Your body doesn’t know that you’re going to suddenly stop the intensity of your workout. This is why suddenly ceasing your workout can also bring on nausea, dizziness and even fainting. This is one of the fatal fitness fails that is easiest to detect but that people don’t realize is simply linked to skipping a cooldown.
Once your main workout is done, give yourself at least 5 minutes to slowly walk around until your heart rate returns to normal again. This will give your body the chance to return to its regular circulation patterns. The blood is still moving through your body and being used by your muscles, only at a decreasing rate. Once your cooldown is done, you can use your foam roller.
2. Skipping Your Foam Roller
You’ve seen people using foam rollers, but you’ve always assumed that you don’t need them. It’s just another fad, right? It certainly doesn’t feel good while it’s being used. Believe it or not, that mindset is one of the worst fatal fitness fails. Foam rolling considerably and noticeably reduces muscle swelling and soreness, speeds recovery and helps to prevent injury. Even five minutes can give you all the time you need to roll out the muscles you’ve used today. It will help you to feel much more comfortable tomorrow and to prepare your body to be able to work out again sooner.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Athletic Training determined that there was a substantial reduction in delayed-onset muscle soreness when foam rolling took place after exercising. In that research, trained male university students were divided into two different groups. They each competed two exercise sessions four weeks apart. The participants each did 10 sets of 10 reps of back squats. These were completed at 60 percent of their 1 rep maximum. They also performed sprint time tests, change of directions and standing broad jumps.
One group was then instructed to foam roll for 20 minutes immediately after the workout. They would then do the foam rolling 24 hours later and 48 hours later. The control group did not do any foam rolling after their workouts. What was found was that the first group was able to achieve better performance in range of motion tests and suffered less muscle soreness than the control group.
In 2015, the International Journal of Sports Medicine published a systematic review that concluded that the foam rolling process boosts range of motion after intense exercise.
Overeating is one of those fatal fitness fails that turns our efforts to get fit into a rising number on the bathroom scale. If you’ve been exercising and gaining more on the scale than could be justified by increased muscle mass over time, you might want to take a look at your eating habits. Indeed, you could be retaining water due to intense workouts. However, if it’s more likely that you are building body fat, food is usually to blame.
While exercise does burn calories and body fat, many people overestimate how much they’ve burned when they do a workout. This is particularly true when completing an intense workout. Unfortunately, that can make you feel as though you’re safe to eat a bit more than you usually would after your workout. Considering that many people work up quite an appetite when exercising, this can be a dangerous combination.
This problem is only worsened by the calorie burning estimators provided by many gym machines. It’s important not to believe the calorie burning numbers provided by your treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, or other gym equipment. They are notorious for overestimating the number and can lead you to fatal fitness fails terms of the food choices you make.
Feel like bringing a water bottle with you to your workout is just a nuisance? Stop right there. This is a huge fatal fitness fail. Hydration is absolutely vital to your workout, regardless of whether you’re getting sweaty or not. Simply being physically active will burn through the water in your body. Replenishing your water to stay properly hydrated is critical to your health, performance and recovery.
For most people, nothing more than plain, affordable water is needed to achieve the necessary hydration. Coconut water and sports drinks, among other electrolyte replacers tend to be popular but are unnecessary and are frequently high in calories and sugars, not to mention their price tags. Unless you’re running a marathon or taking on a similarly extreme physical activity, just stick to plain water and you’ll receive all the hydration you need.