When you see top athletes adopting popular fitness habits, it’s easy to want to use them, too. After all, these are people known for being fit and athletic. They must know what they’re doing, right?
They might. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that they’re doing everything perfectly correctly. Furthermore, just because popular fitness habits work for one person, it doesn’t mean they’ll work for you. You need to understand your own needs, fitness level and goals. Then, you must create a strategy that works for you, not just anyone.
The following are some of the most popular fitness habits secretly hurting people’s results. Have a look at each one to understand how these techniques might also be holding you back.
#7 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Poor Form
If you’re not doing a workout properly, you place yourself at risk of slow results or, worse, injury. Bad form is one of the most popular fitness habits. The problem is that most people doing it don’t realize it’s happening.
It could be that you are self-guiding your workout and you have missed a subtle detail about position. It may be that you have received bad advice from someone who claims to be an expert. Maybe you’re new to a gym and didn’t realize the importance of form. Whatever the reason, it is one of the most damaging popular fitness habits.
If you want to make sure you’re using good form during your workout, take the opportunity to consult with an experienced physical trainer. You’ll likely be surprised at how much guidance you receive even from a single session.
#6 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Workouts on an Empty Stomach
If you want to be able to achieve your best performance during a workout, your body needs the right fuel. That said, many people choose to exercise on an empty stomach. The reason this is one of the most popular fitness habits is that people think it will help them burn more fat.
The truth of the matter is that while there are some benefits to doing your workout on an empty stomach, they’re greatly outweighed by the drawbacks. For one thing, your body may burn some fat as a result of your workout because of the absence of food calories. However, it might also burn muscle.
That, in turn will slow your metabolism and make it harder to improve your performance over time. Another reason these are not effective popular fitness habits is that food energy is typically easier for your body to use than stored energy (from fat or muscle). Therefore, exercising on an empty stomach can lead to fatigue and reduced performance. The result can be that you won’t achieve your workout’s fitness potential, or you might even need to cut it short. Not to mention the fact that many people who do this suffer from dizzy spells, faintness and weakness.
Instead of exercising on an empty stomach, give your body smart fuel. About 45 minutes before your workout, have some berries or a banana and a bit of plain yogurt. Top that off with a black coffee or an energizing Adipex alternative and you’ll do even better. This provides lots of energy to maximize your performance.
#5 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Overdosing on Cardio
Cardio is popular because it’s a huge calorie burner, and it doesn’t typically take a lot of equipment. Think about it: walking is one of the most recommended exercises for health and weight management. However, if cardio is all you’re doing, you’re leaving out an important part of your fitness.
It’s true that cardio is great for you. It’s also true that it’s only one type of exercise. If cardio is all you do, it will burn calories, but these popular fitness habits may be minimizing your strength. Cardio unsupported by strength training and flexibility exercises can cause you to experience muscle atrophy and reduce your calorie burn.
If you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness level or achieve better overall health, doing too much cardio can reduce your potential results. Instead, try to create a balance. Sure, you can do cardio several days per week, but toss in a couple of days of strength training, too. Don’t forget to do some yoga or Pilates to improve your balance and flexibility while you’re at it.
#4 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Eating Wrong
Many people think that the best ways to burn fat is to skip meals or eat fad diets. Unfortunately, fasting improperly or choosing the wrong food options has become one of the worst popular fitness habits. The wrong quantity or type of fuel in your body can place a huge dent in your progress.
Break away from this disaster among popular fitness habits and eat for your health and goals. Choose foods that will help you with muscle recovery, hydration, regularity and overall nutrition. This may seem challenging at first, but it will get easier over time. The main struggle is the learning process as there is a lot to take in.
Instead of trying of figure it all out in a single weekend, take your time. Discover a few tweaks and improvements you can make every week. Adopt each one gradually and continue to add as the days go by. Fortunately, gradual nutrition improvements is one of the better popular fitness habits starting to take off.
#3 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks
The occasional energy drink or sports drink likely won’t hurt you. However, they should be used on rare occasions, at best. This is particularly true of energy drinks. Those stimulant-packed drinks are being linked with a rising number of health problems. Moreover, there have already been viral headlines sharing tragedies when people have overdosed on stimulants and suffered heart attacks or died.
That said, even if you’re not drinking several of these beverages per day, they can still hold you back. The problem with them is that they are often very high in sugar or artificial sweeteners – or both. Sugar and artificial sweeteners wreak havoc on your insulin response. Their regular use can lead to some highly unpleasant effects.
Unless you are playing an intense sport for over an hour, the odds are that you won’t need the type of benefits offered from a sports drink.
Instead, choose water for your hydration needs. Add a bit of lemon, lime or cucumber if you want a bit of flavor to your drink. It’s just that easy to overcome those problematic popular fitness habits.
#2 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Not Prioritizing Sleep
Your body needs sleep for proper workout recovery and basically everything else. It’s not just so you won’t feel tired. If you don’t get enough sleep, your muscles will take longer to recover. If your muscles haven’t fully recovered, you’ll experience soreness, and you won’t perform as well as you otherwise could.
Furthermore, when you don’t sleep well enough, your stress levels increase. Stress comes with higher levels of the cortisol hormone. That plays havoc on your mood, your energy levels, your physical performance and even your food cravings.
Ever wonder why you want bacon, eggs and hash browns for breakfast when you didn’t get any sleep, instead of the cottage cheese, fresh fruit and almonds you had planned? It’s because exhaustion forces your body to find energy elsewhere. This makes a regular lack of sleep one of the worst popular fitness habits you can maintain.
#1 of the Worst Popular Fitness Habits: Inadequate Protein
Even if you’re eating nutritious meals and snacks, if you’re not getting enough protein, your muscles will suffer. You’ll be weaker. You won’t perform as well. You’ll experience soreness.
Boosting the protein in your diet, on the other hand, is one of the more fantastic popular fitness habits. The reason this trend is taking off is because it supports muscle recovery and growth. It also boosts your metabolism for improved fat burning at the same time!