I have always been the sporty type. I played hockey in High School, picked up running while I studied my way through a degree. I did Taebo, hiking, gym and now I am simply hooked on Adventure Boot Camp, which I do five days a week! The thing is, until I started boot camp I never realised the bad exercise habits, I’d picked up along the way. Thanks to the guidance of my trainer, here are four bad exercise habits I’ve managed to kick to the curb…
Bad Exercise Habits
by Dalene Ingham-Brown
Pulsing during warm up
Believe it or not, this is a bad idea. It makes complete sense to me now, but a year ago you’d find me warming up for a run by bobbing up and down in the lunge position. Little did I know, all I was doing was stressing my poor muscles out. When you’re in a warm-up lunge stretch, you’re already waking up those muscles, getting them warm and ready for exercise. Like warming up a piece of chewing gum in your mouth before the rest of the chew-athon. Bouncing on the stretched lunge doesn’t wake the muscles up slowly, it scares them awake with the sound a potential-injury siren.
Eat before you train
If you’re starting a new eating plan, make sure you give your body a dose of fuel before you dive into your exercise session. I’m not talking about slapping on a bib and chowing down to a carbo-loading feast. No. I’m talking about giving your body a sustainable snack before you push it in training. With a new eating plan, you may not know how your body is going to react to a hardcore training session. Trust me – I found out the hard way. Popping some nosh in your belly 30 minutes before you begin your workout can stop you from fainting, throwing up or just feeling like rubbish. A few of my easy pre-work out snacks include a granola bar, a slice of whole wheat toast with sliced banana and peanut butter, or a small portion of yoghurt, muesli and blueberries.
Skipping the post-workout stretch
Stretching-shmretching, right? That’s what I used to think. But a good post-workout stretch is excellent for your muscles. Stretching after exercise reduces muscle fatigue. This means in your next training session your muscles still pack the force they require to hoist weight when you need them to.
Another great thing about post-workout stretching is that it helps your muscles recover faster and minimises the muscle soreness you feel the next day. You know those days when standing up, lifting your arms, or even laughing is incredibly sore? Well, if you’d stretched properly after your workout, your post-training day pain, will be less intense. This means no more skipping workout days because nothing makes me want to skip a day of exercise more, than the thought of jogging, when I feel like I can hardly walk.
Not taking measurements
The mighty scale has fallen. For years I solely relied on a scale to tell me how my weight was doing. I’d hop on and stare down at the results as if it were a Magic 8 Ball. Not anymore. Now I’ve found Mr Scale a new best friend – Mr Measuring Tape. If you are eating well and exercising to lose weight, your body is going to change. You will lose fat and build muscle. This means you’ll lose centimetres from the fat loss, but gain some weight from the muscle built. For this reason you really shouldn’t solely rely on a scale, to provide you with accurate results. There is no quicker way to de-motivate yourself, than to not be able to see results! So go out and get that scale a buddy and enjoy accurate results.
When it comes to exercise, the only way to ensure we keep it up (in the name of health living) is to actually enjoy it. So I truly hope these tips help you avoid the injuries and from become demotivated, which can so easily happen with bad exercise habits.