As Summer begins to wane, the Fall and Winter seasons are right around the corner. You may be coming off of an active and fun summer season, but you want to continue that active lifestyle right through the Fall and Winter months.
Getting into a consistent workout routine is a great way to kick start your new healthy you, but it's not the only component of getting fit. Being healthy is a lifestyle, and there are a number of habits that can actually work against your fitness goals, even if they seem innocent enough. Knowing what little tweaks to make to your daily habits can help improve your overall health and help you truly reach those fitness goals once and for all.
These changes won't happen overnight, but if you are aware of what is sabotaging your efforts, you can take the proper steps to get to where you need to be. "Make small, minor changes in your lifestyle and take your time to really master those habits," says strength and conditioning coach, functional medicine practitioner, and sports nutritionist Brandon Mentore . You need to adopt a new lifestyle but do it slowly and convert your current way of living a lifestyle of fitness. The more gradual you are, the more achievable, maintainable, and sustainable your fitness goals will be.
A good place to begin is to look at your overall lifestyle and ditch those harmful activities. If you want to kick your health and wellness up a notch, consider ditching these nine habits that can actually work against your fitness goals.
1. Not Eating Enough
If you're working out harder, you're going to need to eat more as well. "Seriously increasing your fitness intensity and/or duration is going to require a rebalancing of your calorie intake," says health coach Liza Baker over email. "Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These foods are full of micronutrients, water, and fiber, all of which keep your body functioning at an optimal level."
2. Overdoing It
"If you decide to get in shape and work out intensely for an hour after never working out, you will run the risk of injury or be so sore the next day that it will be impossible to be consistent," says Baker. "Not taking an occasional break can be just as damaging — our bodies need rest! That said, you should always be trying to gradually increase the number of times you work out a week, how long you work out, and with what intensity you work out."
3. Not Getting Enough Sleep
"Getting by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep is incredibly damaging to your body even when you're not working out," says Baker. Not only will you feel tired and fatigued, which could discourage you from working out, but not sleeping enough can also increase your cravings for junk food, according to research from St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University. Remember, sleep, like food is necessary for your body to function correctly. When your exercising, your taxing your body to make it work harder then it might be used to. This is how you get in shape and lose the weight. So make sure your getting the right amount of sleep each night. You may find it helpful to turn that tv. off by 10pm instead of watching your favorite late night talk show hosts.
4. Drinking A Lot
We all love a good happy hour, but drinking in excess can hamper your fitness goals. It can lead to muscle cramping, poorer sleep, and excess hunger and craving for junk foods, according to Shape. Try substituting sparkling water or try a cranberry spritzer when your out with your friends. It's a nice change up from the regular fare and you can always offer to be the designated driver for your friends so you can all get home safely.
5. Doing What's Trendy
A juice cleanse might be the latest craze, but it doesn't mean it's actually going to benefit you. "What's good for everyone else isn't always good for you," says Mentore. "There's a point at which following the crowd and doing what they do to reach their fitness goals can actually be detrimental." Figure out what works best for your body, and don't just follow blindly what people do on the social networks.
6. Having A Bad Mindset
"It's OK to be skeptical and even pessimistic if you haven't been able to reach your goals in the past," says Mentore. "However, if you're going to make a go at it, you have to have a positive mindset or at least an appropriate commitment to your goal or it will never work." Try and make sure the goals you're setting for yourself are achievable and not just wishing on a star. You can always make a new goal for yourself, once you've conquered your initial one!
7. Doing The Same Thing Constantly
"Our bodies tend to 'memorize' workouts — after a few weeks of the same routine, we don't have to work as hard to do it," says Baker. This is why it is important not only to 'mix it up' and not do the same workout every day." Same goes for eating the same foods and not incorporating different nutrients. Think about changing up your walking routine or maybe add a HITT training day amongst your weekly routines. Remember, change is good for you and your body!
8. Not Drinking Enough Water
If you're not drinking enough water, your energy levels aren't going to be where they need to be. Even just mild dehydration can cause fatigue, according to a study from the Journal of Nutrition, and you could also mistake feelings of thirst for feelings of hunger, which may have you turning to extra food when you actually just need water. Keep that thirst at bey and take an insulated bottle along with you on your workout routines. A bottle like the Klean Kanteen Insulated Bottle is a great choice that will stand up to any test you want to put it through and will still supply you with the hydration you need whether it be just plain water or a drink that is packed full of nutrients and electrolytes. Just like the
Nuun Energy Hydration Tablets. These tablets will lift up your energy level and keep you active all day long.
9. Focusing On The Scale
"The scale is probably the number one complication that works against your goals," says Mentore. "Bodyweight in and of itself is a metric of low priority that people place an undeserving high premium on." Your weight will fluctuate, but how you feel about yourself is what should stay consistent. "Instead of focusing on the scale go for feeling fit," he says. "That's a much better metric than being number focused." I've often left my scale in the closet and rely on my three-month checkup with my Dr. to let me know how I'm doing weight wise. This way I can keep a positive outlook on just how well I'm doing. Believe me, you will know if you're eating a bit too much and you can then do something about it.
Fitness is about more than just working out, so make sure the rest of your life reflects the healthy lifestyle you desire. This goes along with your social, work-life and most importantly on how you reward yourself for accomplishing a realistic goal.
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Portions of this information were provided by Carina Wolff