The idea of sabotaging your own workouts sounds rather scary, doesn’t it? Most of us work out as we expect to see some benefit from it. We can’t get enough of all of those glorious endorphins running through our system; we want to improve our body shape; or we just want to enjoy the health benefits that go hand-in-hand with a good level of overall fitness. The idea that you might be sabotaging your opportunity to achieve all of these things is outright disturbing.
However, it’s an important matter that is worthy of discussion. If you’re going to spend hours in the gym or on the road, then you want to know it’s worth it. So, let’s jump in and look at four behaviors that can result in your workout not being quite as effective as you hoped…
1. Giving Yourself A Treat For Working Out
If you’ve been slogging on a running machine for an hour, it will likely inform you that you’ve burned 500 or so calories. So what’s the harm in having a milkshake after you’ve worked out? You’ve earned it!
The above is worrying thinking, especially if you’re trying to keep your weight in check. Unless you know the exact calories from that milkshake, there’s a very good chance that your workout “treat” will just add those calories right back into your body– and potentially, more than you burned in the first place. A one-off treat is fine, but don’t make it a daily habit.
2. Not Sleeping Enough.
If you’re exercising to control your weight or improve your mental health, then you have to continue your good behavior into the night hours. The effects of sleep deprivation can be hugely detrimental, causing your body to produce excess cortisol, aka the “stress hormone”. The side effects of excess cortisol? Weight gain and low mood– so effectively, negating all the benefits you’re meant to be getting from your workouts.
Invest in your bed so that it’s a tempting place to be; consider Nectar mattresses and soft cotton sheets with a good thread count. The nicer your bed is, the happier you will be to retire a couple of hours earlier than normal. As a result, you lower your cortisol, and you are able to enjoy the benefits of your workout regime.
3. Doing Too Much.
If you over-exert yourself in the gym, then you’re not “feeling the burn”– you’re damaging your body. Fitness should always be approached with the story of the tortoise and the hare in mind; you want to be the tortoise, reaching your goals at a slow and steady pace. If you go too hard, you’re going to harm your body and potentially even injure yourself, which will set your fitness goals back even further.
If you can avoid the treats, not sleeping enough, and keep your exercise regime moderate, then you’re well placed to achieve the best possible results. You work hard for your fitness, so don’t sabotage your improvement by making the mistakes mentioned above. Good luck!