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For those dedicated to losing weight, sticking to an exercise routine can be quite the struggle. If you’re overweight or obese, exercise can sometimes be uncomfortable, and even painful if you practice the incorrect form or do too much at once. If you have an unhealthy relationship with exercise and absolutely hate it, then chances are, you won’t be too successful with losing weight through diet and exercise alone.
Are you guilty of starting, and stopping your workouts on a continuous basis? Here are four bad fitness habits you should give up now so you can get closer to your weight-loss goals.
1. Forcing yourself to exercise
There could be several reasons why you feel the need to force yourself to exercise. You might feel tired, hungry, or simply bored of your routine, or you could feel defeated. If you’ve arrived at the point where you feel forced to exercise, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate where the problems lie, and correct them. Is your fitness routine too difficult? If so, it’s time to scale back, and do a routine that isn’t so rough on your body. Are you just too tired by the time you get to the gym at the end of the day? Start going first thing in the morning, or establish an at-home routine so you can roll out of bed, exercise, shower, and move on with the rest of your day.
2. Avoiding unhealthy foods at all costs
While it’s wise to avoid sweets and junk food if you truly want to become healthier, omitting these foods completely from your diet can result in setbacks and binge eating later down the road. Instead of depriving yourself, allow yourself to indulge just a little in your favorite foods once or twice per week without going overboard. Giving in to this temptation could make you feel more comfortable with your weight-loss journey, and make you feel less bitter and deprived. If possible, look for organic or all-natural versions of your favorite junk foods that contain fewer preservatives and man-made ingredients.
3. Being obsessed with calories
When you’re dieting and trying to lose weight, keeping track of calories can give you a good idea about how much you need to exercise based on what you’re consuming. However, you shouldn’t devote an excessive amount of time to being perfect in the world of caloric intake. It’s smart to read labels of the processed food items you’re eating such as cereal, granola bars, and other packaged foods that could contain sugar and additives. But it’s silly to try to track calories of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Instead of focusing on calories, focus more on choosing healthier foods, and on maintaining a good, strong fitness routine.
4. Keeping cardio and strength training separate
While this habit isn’t exactly a fitness faux-pas, you can get more out of your routine by combining cardio and strength training into just one intense, anaerobic workout. Some people are under the impression that they need to spend an hour on strength training followed by at least 30 minutes of cardio. But in fact, you can actually combine the two workouts into one high-level intensity workout that lasts anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Do circuit interval workouts that combine push-ups and squats with jumping jacks and sprinting in place, or speak to a professional fitness trainer who can recommend other types of effective interval workouts.