The great thing about the internet is that we now have access to a plethora of fitness content then ever before without having to buy DVDs and tapes for at-home workouts. The downside is the mounting pile of misinformation that many users can be trapped into believing. It’s important to remember that like most content on the internet bucketed in a particular category, there are always more reliable sources, and less reliable sources. Whatever platform it is, whether it’s a specific blog, or a YouTuber, or a TikTok creator, always verify where they’re getting their information from, and what their credentials are. If you’re interested in getting serious about your physical fitness, losing weight and overall finding the right plan for you. Make sure you don’t make these 3 mistakes on the road to fitness goals.
- Don’t abandon health eating practices just because you’re working out
Eating terribly can almost undo the work of a good exercise. You want to fortify your muscles with nourishing food. There have been so many diets studied, from Atkins, to Keto, but the one that has the most research backing it is the plant-based, Meditteranean diet. Getting in a generous serving of fruits and vegetables is the way to go, and has been repeatedly studied as a good diet for overall health, but especially heart health. It’s important to have a good relationship to food; food is not your enemy and there is no shame in having that cupcake, or that side of chips or fries every once in a while–but make sure not to overindulge. With anything you consume, moderation is key. Though we are living in the 21st century, our bodies haven’t quite caught up to us. In the western world, and in the developed world, we are living in a very food-rich society, but our body thinks we are in a deficit, which can lead us to indulge and snack even when we don’t need to. A helpful trick to counter this, (IF you are interested in this for health purposes and weight loss) is trying intermittent fasting by setting hours between 10-6, or 7-7. Don’t snack in-between meals and make sure you’ve eaten your meals within that time period. Strict fasting can be tough because you’ll feel hungry; don’t torture yourself! Try to not snack between meals and then take a step up by limiting the hours in which you eat all of your meals. Intermittent fasting has been studied in humans and research shows that it does help with lowering blood sugar, reduces inflammation and helps with weight loss.
- Don’t gloss over form–consult professionals.
The most important part of a workout is form. If your form is incorrect, you’re not really working out those muscle groups that the workout was intended for. There are a lot of fitness gurus on YouTube, but their form isn’t always the best, and this can actually be quite dangerous for their audience, because first, they are being led to believe that this exercise will help target that muscle group, and second, they could risk pulling a muscle or seriously injuring themselves. If you want good resources, find personal trainers or online fitness content creators that have some credentials to back up their claims and workout plans. The most well known one institutions to get certified through are ACE (American Council on Exercise) American College of Sports Medicine, or National Academy of Sports Medicine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s online, or in your local gym, rely on fitness experts who are well-informed. Let’s say you’re in Colorado and you’re looking for Colorado gyms near you–you want to research and see the reviews or postings about the gym. This might seem unusual, but the energy and the vibe of a gym can impact your workout because it impacts your mood. You also want trained professionals at this gym who are experienced with working with people, not people who simply have a degree in something related to physical education.
- Don’t over do it
No, it’s not healthy to do intense workouts for over 2 hours a day. Get your cardio, your weights, and your resistance training in, but don’t exceed an hour a day. As mentioned earlier, moderation is key. You don’t want to overdo it with exercising because you will run the risk of becoming too exhausted and injuring yourself. Rest days are important. If you don’t rest, you run the risk of pulling a muscle, or fatiguing your muscles to the point that your mobility is affected. Limit your workout intensity time to 45-1 hour and give yourself time to rest and recuperate.