So you’re hitting the gym and logging all of your results in your favorite fitness app. You’ve made your workouts a daily priority, and sometimes you even have nightmares about doing extra sets of burpees. But the results just don’t seem to be happening. Don’t fret: there may be some surprising things that are keeping you from getting fit.
Of course, you don’t intend to sabotage your own workouts. But the solution may not be logging more hours in the gym. All aspects of your health, from your sleep schedule to dietary habits, can have a tremendous affect on your fitness level. Although it’s tempting to think you can eat whatever you want after a grueling workout, a box of doughnuts may not be the best recovery food. (But if the idea of a little treat is what gets you to workout in the first place, it may not be the worst thing in the world).
You don’t have to completely overhaul your entire life at once to make your fitness goals stick. In addition, being fit does not necessarily mean you have a six-pack and mega muscles. Maintaining your own ideal fitness level means you have the energy to get through your day feeling physically and mentally capable. So these minor tweaks, such as getting a little more sleep each night, can help make your workouts more effective. Because when you feel refreshed and energized, you are almost guaranteed to rock your workouts like never before.
1. You Choose Repetitive Workouts
Following the same workout routine may be comforting — you know what to do and feel proficient, at it — but it may cause your fitness progress to stall out. Your body just gets used to that level of activity. As explained in Shape, increasing your dumbbell weights, or signing up for a new class, are smart ways to keep your body guessing. Not to mention it will stave off boredom, too.
2. You Work Too Hard
Burnout is real. According to Women's Health, it can even lead to symptoms of depression such as a change in appetite, decrease in sex drive, and difficulty sleeping. Try taking a full rest day once a week to prevent burnout, and know when it's time to back off a bit.
3. You Eat Too Little (Or Too Much)
It's difficult to estimate exactly how many calories you burn with each workout. Overeating after a workout is not a good idea, but the opposite is also a problem. According to Health, female athletes who are prone to under-eating may experience extreme fatigue, frequent bouts of illness, or even irregular periods. And when you're tired all the time, it's almost impossible to rally the energy to crush those workouts. When in doubt, work with a medical professional to make sure your body is getting the nutrition it needs.
4. You Ignore Strength Training
Strength training is for everybody. As explained in Everyday Health, strength training is crucial for helping your body get into shape and boosting your energy levels. So get to lifting.
5. You Don't Have A Great Diet
The often-repeated adage is true: you can't out-exercise a poor diet. As explained by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, even individuals at a healthy weight are at risk for major problems such as heart disease and hypertension due to unhealthy eating habits. It may be time to revamp your eating habits if your workouts aren't producing the desired results.
6. You Give Up
Abandoning your fitness goals altogether is never a good idea. Sure, it may take a little time to find the specific gym or activity that you love. But according to Today, if you can visualize your end goals and engage in positive self-talk, you're more likely to keep up with your fitness routine. After all, even a subpar workout is better than none at all.
7. You Don't Sleep Well
Getting enough shut-eye is crucial. As explained by the Sleep Foundation, adequate rest is a critical factor that affects your fitness and energy levels. After all, it's hard to work up a sweat when you'd rather curl up in the corner and nap.
8. You Skip Too Many Workouts
If you have the flu, of course skipping your kickboxing class is a good call. But according to Mercola, taking a pass on your workouts for just two weeks can lead to a reduction in your cardio fitness and even your lean muscle mass. It's important to rally and get that workout in, even on days when you don't feel up to it.
9. You Text At The Gym
I can't count the number of times I've had to wait for some ding-dong to finish texting and evacuate the machine I want to use. But the side effects of playing with your phone during workout times go beyond simple gym etiquette. As explained on Daily Burn, texting may cause you to take longer rest periods than you body needs, which may make your workouts less effective. When your body has time to return to its normal resting mode, you may also put yourself at risk of injury. Your best bet is to leave the phone in your locker or at least put it on airplane mode.
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