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Five Bad Fitness Habits to Break Today

By Chris Shaw 

That “gold star” feeling you get when you stick to your fitness plans is priceless. However, making the commitment to exercise and following through is only the beginning. Showing up and “going hard” won’t be as effective if your exercise routine is filled with counterproductive bad habits.

Whether you’re new to working out or a seasoned trainer, make sure you haven’t fallen into bad habits that can keep you from seeing the results you want and possibly do your body more harm than good in the process.

Here are five habits you should break today.

1. Working out on an empty stomach
Your body needs fuel for a good workout and this fuel comes in the form of glucose (blood sugar). Low blood sugar can make you fatigue quicker and possibly make you dizzy during your workout. Eating on a full stomach or right before you exercise isn’t advised (because being nauseous is never fun), but eating 45 minutes to an hour will give your body some energy to run on.

2. Using bad form
Doing a squat isn’t the same as doing a squat CORRECTLY. The same can be said for any exercise. Incorrect form can lead to serious injuries and keep you from reaping the maximum benefits from the exercises you do. Try asking a trainer for assistance, or using a mirror to check your form until your body builds muscle memory of what correct form feels like.

3. Staying in your comfort zone
The name of the game is progress, and progress is usually found beyond your comfort zone. Getting into your fitness groove is great, but to keep seeing results it’s important to go to your edge and beyond. Give yourself new milestones and challenges to reach.

4. Keeping the same routine
Similar to the comfort zone, your body will adapt to your fitness routine and stop making progress. Not only does this cause frustration for you, but prevents your body from being the best it can be. You want your body to be strong and flexible in multiple ways. If you always do yoga, add a cardio class. If running is your thing, incorporate strength training. Try switching up your routine every two weeks to keep your body on its toes.

5. Holding your breath
“Waiting to exhale” stops oxygen from circulating blood properly and flowing to your muscles. This is an easy bad habit to adopt when focusing on a challenging move or lifting heavy weights, but the secret is that breathing will actually make things easier.

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