by CASSIE McINTYRE
Whether you’re a regular in the gym, set up your workouts at home, or have weekly sessions with a personal trainer you are still committed to that healthy and fit lifestyle you’ve always wanted to live. But something is still getting in the way of your progress. Some fitness mistakes, like forgetting to stretch, could make you take a step backwards on your fitness journey. What can we do? Practicing the proper techniques and eating whole foods can help maximize your workouts and get you back on track if you feel like you’re falling off course. I believe I’ve found some common mistakes we all make and have a few tips on how to correct them.
Are you eating the right foods? Many fitness enthusiasts have found that eating a snack before you go to the gym gives your body the fuel it needs to power you through your workout. It’s also known as “pre-workout” or mixing a protein with healthy fats to help you maintain your energy through your workouts, fitness classes, or game. You could always simply take the good old fashion banana and peanut butter route however, there are a lot of pre-workout formulas on the market and the best local place I’ve found to help you get what you need is ANC in Avon.
American Nutrition Center has the most knowledgeable and welcoming staff who are always more than happy to help you find the best products for your nutrition and what you want to accomplish. I’ve been here a few times and every trip I’ve made to ANC has been amazing. I always get my questions answered and they really cater to your specific needs for whatever you are trying to do; fat loss, muscle gain, etc… A lot of people I go to the gym with (and take yoga with) also find themselves here and I must say it’s one of the best nutrition centers around.
If you’re tired of going to GNC and Vitamin Shoppe I can only suggest going to ANC and seeing for yourself how much better your experience will be.
Along with taking a pre-workout, it’s also recommended you take have post workout snack/ shake to help your muscles recover. Refueling is more important after long or intense workouts (60 to 90 minutes) rather than a 30 minute since your body is working harder over a longer amount of time.
Are you drinking enough water? Staying hydrated regulates the body temperature and helps fight against cramping and dizziness. It’s recommended we drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, about 2 liters, and about eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during any form of exercise.
If you’ve ever found yourself getting tired too quickly (even when you’ve taken a pre-workout) ask yourself if you’ve had enough water. Same goes for if you are feeling tired or hungry during the day maybe you just need to re-hydrate your body.
Are you stretching correctly or not at all? Stretching before your workout may lower your risk for injury, improve flexibility, and reduce and pain or tension you are holding on to. Cooling down after your workouts also helps your muscles recover. Dynamic stretches (stretching while you move) are recommended to help activate the muscles you’re about to engage by using controlled leg movements to improve your range of motion, loosening up muscles, and increasing your heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow. Dynamic stretching is most effective when its sport specific, like running. Static stretching (holding a pose) is recommended for cool downs post workout. It’s important we keep our bodies properly stretched we can perform to the best of our abilities.
Are you working out too hard? Taking your workouts to the next level is always a satisfactory moment for any fitness lover but if we do too much too fast we put ourselves at risk for injury. In yoga for example, I’m always telling my students to listen to their body, focus on your mat, and don’t worry about what Sally somebody is doing in front of you. Everyone is on their own level and progresses at their own pace and that’s OK! Whether something takes you two weeks or two months to achieve don’t worry about the time focus on your form. Practicing proper form also has a huge role in your fitness routine, especially weight training, and can help prevent injury, muscle strain, and joint damage. I see a lot of people in the gym lift with their back and it puts them at risk for injury. If you’ve ever seen anyone or ever find yourself in the gym swinging up their weights doing a bicep curl then you know it’s probably too heavy and it’s a risk for injury. Don’t be afraid to lower your weight. There’s nothing wrong about taking a humble approach to your exercises and making sure you are doing everything correctly. Also, don’t be afraid to ask a personal trainer for help or sign up to work with one so you can learn the right way to do the moves.
Overall, your fitness journey can be bumpy ride but it can also be a smooth one. By having the correct recommendations for your nutrition, exercises to prevent injury, and keeping that motivation going you can realize your fitness goals in a matter of months. Fitness isn’t a fad or a trend, it’s a lifestyle so don’t give up. Keep moving forward towards your goals.
Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.