Fitness industry statistics show that the longest time the average person works out in a fitness center before quitting is six months. While lack of time is often given as the top reason for giving up, a close second is the absence of visible results. PThe main reason most people start exercising is that they want to lose weight or look better. It can be very demoralizing to workout for several months and not see any significant changes in one's body. However, this doesn't have to be the case. It is possible to get 100 percent results from one's gym or aerobic workout, but many don't, because they make the following mistakes.
Mistaking quantity for quality.
Thirty minutes of walking on a treadmill can be 30 minute of quality exercise time or 30 minutes of your body just occupying space on top of a sophisticated machine. There is a big difference between walking mindlessly as you chitchat with the person on the next treadmill and walking with a purpose, challenging your aerobic capacity to the safest highest intensity that you can. Twelve repetitions of abdominal crunches done properly are more effective that 50 repetitions done haphazardly. If you want the best results from your workout, make every minute and every repetition count.
Experts say many people are in denial about their exercise frequency and dietary habits. Most people will overestimate the amount of exercise they do and underestimate the amount of food they eat. If weight loss is the goal, this state of denial will eventually lead to frustration. The person may 'feel sorry" for himself. After all, they think they are working out so hard, denying themselves food and still not exercising enough and are actually eating too much. Keeping an exercise logbook and a food diary are effective ways to curb this perception. Record keeping will show you in black-and-white what is really going on.
The type of workout you do will determine the kind of results you will get from exercising. For example, the aerobics portion of an exercise class will increase stamina, improve the efficiency of the heart, and burn a large amount of calories but will not significantly shape and sculpt the muscles. Resistance exercise (lifting weights) is a better choice for that goal. Frustration can easily develop when people expect specific results from a type of workout that is not for them.
Exercise technique is a skill that has to be learned just like a sport. Sloppy technique in golf and tennis will never win you a championship and sloppy exercise technique will never get you 100 percent results either. Pay close attention to proper exercise form whether on cardiovascular machines like treadmills, bikes and steppers, during aerobic classes, lifting weights or stretching. Concentrate on what your muscles are doing rather than discussing the latest gossip with your friends at the gym. When lifting weights, do your small talk in between sets rather than during the actual lifting process. Control the way you move your arms and legs during aerobics - really feel each move rather than just flinging your limbs in every direction.
Lack of knowledge.
Unfortunately, many people fail in their workouts due to lack of assistance from exercise instructors. "Practice makes perfect" is not true when you are practicing wrong exercise technique! It just makes matters worse by reinforcing the wrong neuromuscular patterns. To quote Tom Purvis, exercise expert and owner of Focus on Fitness in Oklahoma City, "It's not what you do, it how you do it!" Educate yourself, keep up with the latest in exercise science, and seek professional help.
If you push yourself too hard, you could injure yourself, burning out and losing all your desire to exercise. If you don't push yourself hard enough, you won't get enough out of your workout. After a while, disappointment sets in.
People lose motivation when they cannot achieve their goals, especially if they are unrealistic ones. For example, desiring to become as thin as Kate Moss when you have a big-boned stocky frame. We all need to work within our genetic limits. Another example of an unrealistic goal is wanting to get fit in one month when you have been inactive for the last 10 years. Significant changes will not happen overnight.
It's amazing how we can be our worst enemies. We all have a "committee of critics" in our minds that tell us "you are so out of shape", "why bother exercising", "your thighs are so unattractive". A negative attitude toward our bodies and toward exercise will only result in half-hearted attempts to exercise. Tell the "committee" to shut up! Choose to say only positive things to yourself. Say things like "my body is getting shapelier", "I have more stamina", and "I am getting better by the day".
Doing same workout.
At some point in time, your body will become quite efficient in whatever exercise you started with. One way of overcoming this plateau is to change the variables of your program. If you are lifting weights, you may want to increase the repetitions, increase the sets, or change the type of exercise. If you are doing a cardiovascular workout on a treadmill, you may want to include some sessions on the stationary bike or stepper or even join some aerobic step classes. The point here is to change your exercise routine from time to time, so your body is constantly challenged and you do not get bored.
Stop wasting time.
Nobody in his or her right mind would want to pay full price for a product and get only 50 percent of the benefits from it. But that is exactly what many people do to themselves when they work out. To avoid this, follow the tips above. Stop wasting time and money. You owe it to yourself to give 100 percent of your effort.
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