The basic do’s and don’ts of fitness and health

It’s Wednesday!  That means it’s time for my weekly article from the Daily Vidette.  Check it out!

 

Don’t stay the same

One of the worst things that you can do with your workout is keep it the same. Our bodies were made to adapt to situations we put it in, including exercise. If we keep our workout routines the same every time, our bodies will become used to it and not produce optimal results.

Weight-loss plateaus are common because people don’t switch up their routine enough. Don’t be scared to try something new. As Mark Twain once said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

Do make it a habit

It has been proven that people who make exercise a priority tend to be active longer throughout life. Once you start training your body to be more active, you feel better physically and mentally.

Typically, it takes about three weeks for a habit to be formed. This can seem like a long time, especially if you are trying to get into an exercise routine or eat better.

But three weeks of making a healthy habit doesn’t seem so long over a lifetime. This is one habit that is necessary for a long life and is worth the commitment.

Don’t over-train

While the majority of Americans are overweight (almost two-thirds of the country), there are still people that commit themselves to exercise. It’s very important to push your body, but it’s also essential that you don’t over train.

Our bodies need time to rest, recover, and repair. Personally, I like to work out three days in a row and take one day off (usually I focus just on flexibility this day). If you overwork your body, it can stress it too much and negatively affect your health.

Rest days also help you to not burnout and quit your routine. Make sure you give your body a break.

Do move more

Think about how much time you spend sitting — class, work, watching TV. Does it take up most of your time? Sitting is terrible for our health. The more we stay seated, the higher our chances of disease and death rise.

Our muscles also become tighter, making the aging process harder. Focus on making small changes that force you to move more. Park the car far away, take breaks every 15 minutes from sitting at the computer, and move around during TV commercials.

If you exercise for 30 minutes a day, what are you doing the remaining 23.5 hours?

Don’t drink sports drinks

Sports drinks were made for exactly what they are named for — sports. They are fine if you are doing a long endurance workout (over an hour) in order to give you quick energy, but I commonly see people chugging down a bottle during their workout or just as a treat throughout the day.

If you check the label, there can be up to 55 grams of sugar in a 32 ounce bottle. This is as much as four Reese’s cups and would take about 30 minutes of cycling to burn off. Instead, reach for some water and save your body from 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Don’t focus on the mirror

Physical appearance does not always reflect your health or fitness level. Society has done a good job of warping reality and has made us believe that women should be skin and bones and men should be ripped and over-muscular.

Challenge yourself to say something positive every time you look in the mirror instead of pinching and poking out things you hate. The more negativity that’s created, the less confidence you’ll show, and the more likely you will quit or give up. Physical changes take time. For now, focus on what you choose to eat and how you move your body.

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