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5 Fitness Mistakes You Need to Fix

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels at the gym, working out regularly but just not seeing the results you hoped for?

If this sounds familiar and your methods for weight loss simply aren’t effective, you may be making one of these common fitness mistakes.

Here are 5 Common Fitness Mistakes to avoid

Mistake: Setting Vague Goals

If your goals sound something like “eat better” or “work out more,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Goals that work must be S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Specific — This is the what, when, where and how of goal setting. How much weight do you plan to lose and by when? When will you work out? How often? How will you make changes in your diet to facilitate weight loss?

Measurable — A realistic goal is a measurable goal. For example, “I will walk 2 miles every day.” Rather than, “I will walk more often.”

Attainable — Go ahead and shoot for the stars, but be sure to give yourself small goals to reach along the way. Want to run a marathon? Go for it! But start by running a 5K, followed by a 10K and a half marathon as part of your marathon training.

Relevant — What is the motivation behind your goal? Are you hoping to lose weight so you’ll fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans or to eliminate other health concerns such as high blood pressure or diabetes? When your goal is meaningful, you’re more likely to stick to it.

Timely — Don’t give yourself a goal with no end date. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds this year, know that means you’ll need to lose 2.5 pounds per month. Break your goal into small, timely milestones and your big goal will become much more attainable.

Mistake: Over-Committing

It’s awesome that you want to start working out every day, but if we’re honest, we’ll admit that most people can’t work out every day of the week. Life will inevitably get in the way, and even professional athletes take a day off to rest. Overcommitting puts you at risk of frustration and burnout. If it’s your goal to work out every day and you miss a day, you’re more likely to beat yourself up and fall off track. Give yourself some leeway and commit to something more attainable, such as never letting more than two days go between workouts. This gives you both structure and flexibility.

Mistake: Lack of Accountability

Without someone to hold your feet to the fire, you may feel you can skip a workout or eat a cheat meal without consequence. Little compromises here and there will add up and make it harder for you to achieve your goal. Don’t go it alone. Find a workout buddy or work with a personal fitness trainer with proven results who can help keep you on track. You’re less likely to skip a workout when you know someone else is waiting for you at the gym.

Mistake: Neglecting Nutrition

Fitness is only one part of the weight loss equation. To reach your goals, you must workout regularly and pay close attention to your nutrition. Believing the myth that you can “work off” a bad meal will only leave you disappointed. Not only does food play an important role in weight loss, but in the ability of your body to function on a day-to-day basis and your long-term health. Think you may need a nutrition overhaul? Work with a nutritionist or registered dietitian who can help you set appropriate nutrition goals. 

Mistake: Program Hopping

There isn’t one fitness program out there that will help you get the results you are looking for. Weight loss isn’t about finding the quick fix; it’s about consistency. A well-rounded program should include a blend of cardio/aerobic training, strength training and flexibility/stretching. It’s also important to choose a workout program you enjoy. For some, that may be running, but running isn’t for everyone. Pick an activity you like doing and stick with it. Give yourself time to see results.

Making small changes in your approach to fitness can pay dividends. Identify the fitness mistakes you may be making, make the necessary adjustments and you should start seeing results.