5 Fitness Mistakes to Avoid for True Physical Wellness
The following article is a guest post from Sheila Olson over at Fit Sheila. Thank you, Sheila!
Though physical fitness is an important pillar of overall wellness – it is only one pillar. Total self-care involves more than hitting the gym everyday. Avoid these common mistakes made by people who exercise but forget to focus on their overall health.
Forgetting to focus on what you eat.
You can certainly lose weight by severely limiting your caloric intake, but it can lead to unhealthy outcomes, including increased fatigue, decreased muscle mass, and an altered mood. People involved in a rigorous fitness regimen sometimes forget how important food is – especially good, healthy food. Trying to make bigger gains on the treadmill by starving yourself isn’t just unhealthy – it’s counterproductive. And thinking you can eat whatever junk you want just because you’re working out it just as misguided. For real wellness, eat a balanced diet full of fit foods such as fish, greens and whole grains.
Sacrificing too much time.
If you have a busy schedule, it’s tough to workout regularly. Total wellness must include a focus on relaxation, recharge time, and activities with your family. If you sacrifice movie night to work out, that’s one thing. But if you begin to catch yourself missing the time in the evenings you have to play with your child, skipping out on relationship time with your partner, or feeling like you don’t have a moment to sit and relax, then you’re likely making fitness too much of a priority.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to fit fitness into your schedule — like doing desk exercises — so you don’t have to abandon all those other things that make you happy and whole. Another popular option is to create an at-home gym you can use anytime you want, like while the baby sleeps or before your spouse wakes up in the morning. Simply pick a space like a garage, basement, or spare bedroom, and outfit it with the equipment you need for the activities you enjoy.
Failing to listen to your body.
At some point, “push through the pain” became a widely accepted exercise mantra. While it’s true that vigorous exercise is often uncomfortable — and that is OK — there’s also a line. You must listen to your body and never push it too hard. If you do, you can risk serious and permanent injury that can derail your fitness goals altogether. Signs that you body is telling to you cut back include nagging, persisting injuries (not usual post-workout soreness) as well as “prolonged periods of fatigue, soreness that won’t go away, insomnia, a cold you can’t seem to kick, and heart rate fluctuations,” according to Greatist.
You hate your exercise routine.
At some point you may have heard that running is the ultimate way to push your body and obtain maximum fitness. But what if you hate running? What if you want to get a great weight-based workout, but you simply hate lifting free weights at the gym? Your solution: stop working out in ways you hate. You’re likely to experience exercise burnout and severe mental and emotional fatigue if you continue a routine you can’t stand. Instead, find forms of physical activity that make you happy such as hiking, swimming, or yoga. There are hundreds of ways to get exercise. You can find a few that suit your likes.
You buy into quick fixes.
There are plenty of supplements, exercise methods and fads that promise great results in less time or less effort. Don’t try to take the easy road. At best, many of these quick-fix promises won’t work. At worst, they can hurt your body and mind and cost you money you don’t have. When it comes to physical fitness there are no shortcuts – ever. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
The goal of your fitness routine should be to make you healthier and happier. Without proper balance and a focus on all the other areas of important self-care, those goals may never be achieved.
You can find more great articles from Sheila on her website, FitSheila.com.
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