Many people get derailed from their weight loss plans as soon as they begin failing at fitness. People with great intentions and goals will drop out of exercise routines simply because they are in too much pain to continue, or they are simply to tired from their new exercise routine. The problem which causes people to wash out so quickly is their lack of knowledge, they do not know what they are doing. When it comes to running, you can’t just run around a track as hard as you can and expect positive results. In strength training, there is far more to this kind of physical fitness than just picking up heavy weights and putting them down over and over. If you think you can succeed with resistance exercise because you just know you are smarter than the dumb, meathead in your gym, you have lost your way before you have even began. When it comes to physical fitness, your failure will almost exclusively come from your lack of knowledge. Therefore, I am going to give you a list of some of the reasons you will find yourself failing at fitness.
- You did not consult with your doctor before beginning your new exercise regimen and found out that you have an underlying medical issue you may not have been aware of. Specifically, when you start to participate in a moderate or intense activity, you have an increased risk of a heart attack or cardiac complications. Additionally, if you are overweight and have not lived a healthy lifestyle, diabetes, kidney disease and lung disease are all conditions that can predispose you to heart issues which you may not have been aware of.
- You did not do your due diligence of learning about what activity you are going to attempt before beginning. You have to know how to properly warm up, how to pace yourself, and lastly how to cool down properly once you have finished.
- You cannot warm up by stretching cold muscles despite what common knowledge has dictated over the years. When you try and stretch cold muscles, you’re going to sabotage how well you perform in your workout. If you stretch your muscles when your body is in a cold state and before your nerves are awake and your blood is pumping, it causes everything to tighten. What you are doing is you are asking your muscles to workout in a contracted state so that they’re going to have a weak and decreased performance. By doing this you can lead yourself to a debilitating injury. Stretching is not the same thing as a warmup, and choosing the right one will make all the difference in your workout.
- You do not warm up properly. A good warmup will reduce stress on your heart and other muscles. By warming up, you gradually rev up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. Here are some examples of warm-up activities:
- To warm up for a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
- To warm up for a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
- To warm up for swimming, swim slowly at first and then pick up the tempo as you’re able.
- You neglect your cool down. Cooling down is similar to warming up. You generally continue your workout session for five minutes or so, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity.
- You find yourself failing at fitness when you are attempting to do more than your body is ready for. You can’t expect to run a couple of miles when you first begin, especially if you have been a couch potato. When beginning any kind of exercise program, it is necessary to ease yourself into it. By trying to do too much, too quickly, you are setting yourself up for injury, burnout, and quite possibly both, I know you are likely to be enthusiastic about getting into good shape and losing body fat, but you need to pace yourself. In all of your excitement, one thing that you must be very careful about is the risk of burnout. Some beginners are just a little too motivated and end up pushing themselves too far. When you first begin a new exercise regimen, if you want to prevent failing at fitness, keep most of your sessions at the low to moderate intensity as your body adapts to the stress of exercise. A few times a week, push the barrier a bit, increasing how hard you work. Additionally, you must remember that you have to also eat enough calories and ensure that you get plenty of rest between them. For more information about this topic, please read my article Fitness Triad.
- You have not learned how to properly listen to your body. Some people cannot distinguish between DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and injury. DOMS can hurt pretty badly, but just because you hurt, it does not necessarily mean that you are injured. Many beginners haven’t mastered the skill of tuning into themselves and adjusting their workout accordingly. There are times when pushing your body through some moderate fatigue and soreness is a wise move. Then there are times when pushing is only going to land you injured, overly fatigued, and on a downward spiral to burnout. DOMS will cause muscles to feel tight, tender to the touch, dull and achy. When exercising, sore muscles will seem tired or burn. An injury is associated with pain that is more sharp and acute, often akin to a stabbing sensation.
- You fail to where proper footwear, or you do not replace them often enough. If you are going to get into walking, jogging, or running, do yourself a favor and buy good shoes. Then, you need to replace them on a regular basis. Keeping old athletic shoes can hinder and hurt you more than they can save you money. Generally speaking, you should be changing your athletic running shoes when you reach 300 to 450 miles. While that seems to be a tremendous amount of miles to the beginner, you will find that soon you will be racking up those miles quicker than you believe possible. When you do a lot of cardiovascular exercise on your feet, it can become difficult to tell when the support starts to go. You need proper support for your feet as bearing all that weight on your body and on your feet, will have them taking their toll.
Successfully reaching most fitness goals takes time, effort and dedication; concepts that are becoming seemingly foreign in today’s “I want it now” culture. Poor exercise adherence, or completely giving up on a fitness goal is often based on physiological and psychological factors that limit success.
You will find yourself failing at fitness when you have set an unrealistic goal. This is the easiest way to pave the road for discouragement. If weight loss is the goal, make sure you have a genuine understanding of the negative caloric balance that must be maintained. For example, just one pound of weight loss in a week theoretically requires a negative caloric balance of 500 calories per day.
You have to set short term goals in order to achieve long term goals without failing at fitness. The best way to take on a challenging long-term goal is to break it down into multiple short-term goals. This allows one to check on their progress down the road to see if they are on track – or if they need to modify an aspect of the program to get back on track. It is perfectly fine and acceptable to dial it back in order to keep proceeding. Serious athletes know this, amateurs often do not.
Quit comparing your success, or lack thereof to others. Each person has different skills, strengths, weaknesses and capacities, so comparing oneself to others often makes little sense. Furthermore, there are fitness enthusiasts who desire to engage in very high-intensity training all the time. A common theme nowadays is “go big or go home”. This certainly does not reflect the best interests of every person, as people will have slightly different goals. The other person’s goals are not your goals!
You cannot be a “Negative Nancy”! Positive thinking is critical to your success, while negative thinking is bound to lead to your failure at fitness. Positive thinking and imagery are used by elite athletes for a reason – it is known to improve performance and training outcomes. The impact of emotion on physical performance has been clearly demonstrated, so follow the science and keep an optimistic and determined outlook to increase your chances of success.
Most fitness goals must be tackled from more than one angle. Your workouts themselves as well as optimal nutrition and avoidance of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, are what promote victory. Consuming processed junk food and/or alcohol after an intense workout can have a significant impact on the benefits obtained during the training session. Just because you worked out, it does not give you license to eat and drink whatever you please. If you think otherwise, you are doomed to failure.
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