So, you’ve decided to get in shape? Good for you! Starting a new exercise regime is an excellent way of enhancing your physical appearance, boosting your confidence, and improving your overall health.
Getting in shape is much easier than many people realize; all it requires is a little willpower. However, there are a number of common mistakes that those new to exercising or who have recently ramped up their exercise are liable to make. You should be aware of these common mistakes so you can avoid them and maximize the efficiency of your workout.
Worrying About Weight
Not being overweight is one of the defining characteristics of a healthy body and many of those who take up exercising do so as a way of losing weight. As a result, many people look to the scales as an indicator of overall health. However, this can actually be hugely misleading.
The scales will tell you whether you have lost weight or not, but weight isn’t a reliable measure if you’re putting on muscle. Body mass index (BMI) is often used to determine if someone is overweight, but it makes no distinction between muscle and fat. Someone can be overweight according to their BMI but be in peak physical condition.
Not Taking Rest Days
When we exercise, we get stronger because physical exertion causes microscopic tears in muscle fibers. When this happens, our body takes it as an indication that our muscles aren’t currently strong enough to handle what we’re throwing at them, so it builds them back even stronger than before, adding new fibers to reinforce the existing ones.
It can be tempting to exercise every single day. But if you do, you need to make sure that you vary your routine. Each of your muscle groups needs 48-hours rest before you exercise them again. This means you need to take a whole day off.
These rest days are where your body will repair and build your muscle. It is, therefore, very important that you take them and avoid overexerting yourself, which can lead to a number of injuries.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
As well as ensuring that you are taking rest days and giving your body time to recover after your workouts, you also need to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. It is during sleep that your body will do its most serious building work.
It is a myth that we only grow during our sleep. Our bodies are constantly building new cells and will start building new muscle pretty much as soon as your workout is over. However, this is obviously a slow process and sleep is certainly when the most growth happens.
If you’re having difficulty getting to sleep, there are a number of options available to you depending on what the specific issue is. For example, if you’re having trouble staying asleep because you or your partner snores, SomniFix designed these strips to help. If you’re having any other issues, then be sure to consult with your physician, as a lack of sleep can cause lots of health problems.
If you have made the decision to get fitter and improve your health, you have already done the hardest part. Doing the exercise required to get in shape is easy if you are properly motivated. In addition to the above advice, it’s always helpful to find online communities of people who enjoy the same activities as you. If you’re getting fit to go running, make friends with runners. If you want to climb, find your nearest climbing gym and look for rock climbing communities online.
Tell us how you get on!