None of us really believe that our fitness habits are perfect in every way, but most of us would like to think that we’re working for and not against ourselves. Interestingly, this is not always the case.
Common Fitness Habits Cause Problems in the Short and Long Term
Despite your best intentions, there are certain fitness habits that might seem like a good idea at the time, but that are actually harmful to your body and to your progress. While you can’t change what you’ve already done, you can learn more about what you do in the name of getting fitter and make changes appropriate to your goals and overall wellbeing.
Having a workout routine is a fantastic idea. Being physically active is good for your body and your mind and might even help to improve your health and longevity. That said, along the way, you will develop certain fitness habits. The key to making sure your progress will be in a positive direction and that you’re not doing anything detrimental to your body.
Making Sure Your Fitness Habits Are on the Right Track
The next time you put on your sneakers, make sure you’re not making the following mistakes with your fitness habits that will only hold you back.
1 – Protein
When you’re regularly active, particularly when your activity includes strength training, making sure you’re getting enough protein will be integral to keeping up healthy muscles and a strong body overall. That said, chugging down a protein shake likely isn’t the answer you’re looking for. Instead, it’s far more beneficial to be sure you’re consuming protein at each of your meals throughout the day – snacks too, if your workouts are particularly intense. While you do need this macronutrient, spacing it out throughout the day and not consuming too much of it all at once is your key to getting it right.
2 – Hydration
It may seem boring to continually sip away at your water throughout your workout, but it is a necessary addition to your fitness habits. Dehydration is not only harmful, but it can be dangerous if allowed to continue. Be wary of sugary and artificial sweetener and flavoring-laden beverages that promise to hydrate you but that can actually work against you. Adequate water combined with a nutritious diet is the perfect balance to meet the needs of a typical active adult.
3 – Warm up
A quick, gentle warm up seems like something that can be skipped to save time, but doing so places you at an increased risk of injury. A bit of a five- or ten-minute warm-up as a part of your fitness habits encourages a number of functions within the body. The first among them is increasing your respiration and heart rate, adding oxygen to your blood and therefore your muscles. This also allows muscles to literally warm up, making the more flexible and reducing the risk of injury once you really get moving. Focus on dynamic movements that become progressively intense.