Fitness Friday: Running Away From Bad Habits

Sometimes you can run but you don’t get yourself very far.  Constantly running also won’t get you far enough from those bad habits that will come back and bite you on the bum harder than ever before. 

I’m sure you’ve all heard the sayings, ‘You can’t out-train a bad diet’ and ‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ but I’ve been reading a lot of magazines with interviews and they’re not the only things that are going to help.

Image from Dr

Kick the following habits and you’ll make everything much easier for yourself in the short and long term. Try changing your bad habits one at a time and see how it helps!

1) All or nothing – Stop making everything harder for yourself by stopping and starting, the yoyo diets and the running for 5 miles a day only for a few weeks before stopping again. These will not only lead to potential injuries pushing you further back than you were in the first place but also causing you to gain more weight when you yoyo diet. Get yourself in a steady routine and build on it, make it a habit and make the whole thing much easier. Consistency is key.

2) Leaving before stretching – this one really bugs me! Sometimes I understand leaving one class early to get to another as many people do when trying to squeeze in workouts after work. But its really important that you cool down after a class or gym workout to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness – that big ache you get the day or two after the gym.
I’ve started to attend a balance class recently to help with my stretching and flexibility and have found that it has really helped. If a separate class has helped then the 5 minutes at the end of each class is certainly going to help in the short and long term….don’t skip it!

3) Starving not snacking – whatever you do, steer clear of starving yourself. Not only is this not good mentally as you will know you are depriving yourself but also it causes your body to store whatever you eat next, and guaranteed if you’re anything like me when you haven’t eaten in a while you end up overcompensating and stuffing your face the next time you do! Keep your sugar levels steady and your metabolism at its optimum rate by eating little and often.

4) Working out on an empty stomach – Morning cardio is something that a lot of people rave about, but this kind of thing is more beneficial if its a 40 minute brisk walk as opposed to skipping your afternoon snack before doing a workout. Having a snack before a workout will stop your sugar levels from crashing, and also provide you with fuel to complete your workout, if you’re doing the right sort of workout your body will be burning calories long past the snack that you’ve eaten.

5) Bingeing after a workout – Everyone is a culprit of this at times, especially when we know a huge meal out is on the cards. But on your average day the worst thing is believing that you’ve burned off enough to allow yourself a 1000 calorie meal. You need to feed your body with protein and carbs after a workout so it can recover but anything more than a normal balanced meal will mean your workout was pointless.

6) Getting stuck in a rut – Always change up what you do, different classes, different weights, even a different order of a routine you do normally will make your body work harder and longer. Try a new class, go for a run somewhere more challenging or just with a change of scenery.

7) Not having a plan – Don’t ever go to the gym without a plan. So many times I have wasted time when I haven’t really had a routine or a body area that I was going to work on. You end up wandering around using whatever is available or closest to hand and then leave having done an average workout when you could have maximised your time and really worked hard.

8) Not getting enough sleep – This has to be one of my favourites, make sure you get the amount of sleep you need. I liked getting up and working out before work when I had the time, but this should never come at the cost of sleep. Sleep gives your body the chance to relax and repair and with the busy lifestyles that we all lead nowadays it’s so important to get your 8 hours

These are just a few tips and tricks that I’ve been learning from experience and reading.

Which of these bad habits do you do most often? What are your tips for progress?

I’d have to say that mine would mostly be getting stuck in a rut as it’s easy to keep doing the same things, and also binge eating after a workout. I rarely eat bad food, I don’t binge eat ice cream or anything, I just get so ‘hungry’ that I can’t stop eating so I end up eating more than I need!

L xxx

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