Many of us have met someone that just can’t wait to work out. Very few of us are that person. If you’re like most people, the time that you spend on the treadmill or in the gym is a sacrifice that requires discipline.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 4 ways that you can unintentionally limit the rewards that your sacrifice should yield. Avoid these pitfalls to make sure your sacrifice pays off.
- Repeat The Same Workout
Do you have a routine that you go to again and again when you exercise? Most of us do. It’s human nature to develop patterns and to seek out comfort in every area of our lives. Exercise is no different.
The problem is that our bodies are masters of adaptation. When we continually do the same motions and exercises, our bodies change to perform those tasks with maximum efficiency.
And while the workouts will be easier, they are also far less effective. Keep your body guessing by changing up your exercise routine. Your workouts will remain challenging, and you will continue to see the benefits that you did when you first began.
- Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the time when our bodies (particularly our muscle fibers) repair most from the strains of the day. If you’re working out during the day, you absolutely need adequate rest in order to reap the full reward of your efforts.
Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 40% of adults regularly fall short of that recommendation.
It’s true that every person is different in terms of the amount of rest that they need, but you should know your body and make sure that you are making your exercise worthwhile by giving yourself time to recover.
- Being A Slave To The Scale
It’s the tendency of most weight-conscious people to weigh themselves often. While it’s good to have weight goals and to know where you stand, paying too close attention to the scale can be detrimental.
Weight fluctuations are normal, and the balancing act between fat loss and muscle development can’t be determined by the scale. In fact, women can see water retention affect their weight by as much as ten pounds depending on where they are in their menstrual cycles.
Instead of getting disheartened by what the number on the scale says, monitor your progress more accurately by body fat measurement and by the way that your clothes are fitting.
- Only Drink When You’re Thirsty
It’s estimated that up to 75 percent of people are chronically dehydrated. That is a big problem, because every single cell in our bodies needs water to function properly.
When you’re dehydrated, you have less energy and your muscles perform at a lower level, harming the quality of your exercise.
It’s easy to forget to drink water. We know that our bodies will make us thirsty before serious dehydration can occur. But by the time you’re thirsty, you’ve already become mildly dehydrated. Give yourself the edge by being intentional about your water consumption.
The current recommendation is between half an ounce, and a full ounce for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 – 150 ounces of water a day. If you are active, or live in a warm climate, shoot for the higher end of that range.