Business of Well-being

Spring into Shape - Stop Dieting and Pick Up the Dumbbells

Have been working out for a while and not seeing results? Are your workouts not working for you? There is a good chance that one or more of these bad habits that you are incorporating into your daily exercise regime is sabotaging your workout.

With just a few minor tweaks, you can send your fitness level soaring and reap the many benefits that your exercise program has to offer.

Not eating enough:

It's important to fuel your workouts and get the proper nutrients in before and after your workout. It's like expecting a car to run with no fuel. If you don't give your body enough food to eat, it simply doesn't perform as well.

In addition, when we don't fuel our bodies properly, our energy sources turn to muscle protein which exactly the opposite of what you want.

Range of motion:

Most common when lifting weights, it is important to pick an amount of weight that you can get all the reps in with full range of motion. This ensures that the load on the muscle is longer which increases strength and size over time.

The more muscle you can build, the more your body burns when resting. Trying to lift a heavier amount of weight than you're able to not only can cause injury, but the muscles are not working at their fullest potential.

Not taking rest days:

While it's important to get your daily dose of exercise, the magic happens when we feed and rest our muscles. Rest days are when muscles perform necessary repairs, foster growth and replenish glycogen (a stored form of carbohydrates and your muscles' main fuel source for energy production). Because glycogen is depleted after a workout, rest is needed for it to be built back up in order to foster muscle growth.

Training too long:

More isn't always better when it comes to exercise. Overtraining, or spending more than an hour in the gym drops Cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. It also fosters adrenal fatigue and overall performance. Your body is therefore likely to break down muscle for energy as well, which in turn will wipe out all of the positive effects of your workout. Spend less time in the gym and make the most of your workouts.

You are stretching before your workout:

While stretching isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be if you're doing it before your workout. Static stretching (holding particular positions until you feel the stretch in your muscles) before lifting weights can actually make you feel weaker or slower during your workout. Focus on dynamic moves or go for a slow jog or walk for your warm up and save the stretching until after your workout.

Your intensity may not be intense enough:

You constantly need to challenge your body. If you are doing the same classes day in and day out, spinning on the same bike for weeks at a time or lifting the same amount of weight for months, it's time to switch things up. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and you will see the changes in your body follow suit.

If your exercise program isn't working for you head on over here and find one that is right for you!

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