Exercise burnout is a common issue among people who set fitness goals to start a new year. To stay on track, you’ll need to watch out for these potential pitfalls.
The New Year begins for many with a resolution to work out more and get in the type of shape they desire. But come February, those good intentions can rapidly fade away. What goes wrong? A common culprit is trying to tackle too much too soon. It takes time to lay the foundation that will help you reach the fitness level you aspire to, and at the beginning of any new regimen, it’s critical to have realistic goals and routines.
Learn from these six common mistakes in order to prevent frustration, injury and loss of motivation as you work to get healthier.
1. Focusing on just one aspect of wellness.
To be successful, a program must be well-rounded. A complete program includes nutrition,resistance training and cardiovascular exercise all leading to a “synergy” effect that produces maximum results.
A cool-down of five to 10 minutes is essential and can lessen delayed-onset muscle soreness.
2. Not cleaning up your diet first.
Your first step should be forming a nutrition plan to eat better. As a result, your energy will naturally increase. This prepares the body for more intense exercise, and you’ll also feel a lot better while you’re working out. Remember that meals can’t just be “healthy”they must be balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and essential fats. Vitamin/mineral supplementation is also important to ensure you get the required amounts of essential micronutrients and antioxidants.
3. Going too fast at the outset.
The body must be given time to respond to a new exercise program. Gradually build up the intensity and duration of exercise to avoid unnecessary soreness, injury and discomfort. Slowly progressing into a program will not only protect the body, it will make the process much more enjoyable.
4. Skipping out on warming up, cooling down and stretching.
You might feel like it’s more efficient to cut to the chase and get to the heart of your routine, but lack of a proper warm-up is a major cause of injury. It can lead to an inefficient workout, pulled muscles or even more serious injuries all of which can quickly destroy enthusiasm for exercise.
A cool-down of five to 10 minutes is also essential to reduce the amount of adrenaline in the blood, flush out toxins and lessen delayed-onset muscle soreness. And don’t forget to stretch. Few exercisers give enough attention to flexibility, a thought process which is just asking for injury. When joints and muscles are not stretched, their range of motion gradually decreases over time. Eventually a stiff body will tear, pull or break.
5. Not being accountable.
Success achievers know that accountability is needed to move from intention to results. Without support and a regular “checkup from the neck up,” as I like to say, life’s distractions can quickly take you off course. To avoid plateaus or backsliding, join a workout group, get a partner or hire a coach. External accountability is critical, especially if it’s not a habit.
6. Acting on bad advice.
With all kinds of conflicting information out there about the best way to work out, it can be confusing to know exactly what to do. To achieve significant, long-term results, seek out the guidance of an expert or a trusted source of information to put you on the right track to defining and achieving goals.
Hut Allred is the owner of NewWaveFitness.com, dedicated to helping people from all walks of life look and feel their best. A four-year Letterman in football at the University of North Texas who graduated with a degree in kinesiology, he became an ACE-certified trainer in 2000 and an expert in food nutrition, fitness and overall health. Allred is a frequent speaker and article contributor on the topics of nutrition and health, and the author of New Wave Fitness’ Ultimate 12 Week Body Transformation Fitness & Nutrition System.