Do you feel that the path to an enviable physique is strewn with many hurdles? In a bid to get slim or build muscle fast, we may take a few shortcuts that do more harm than good. You may be approaching your workout regimen the wrong way or consuming too many empty calories for the sake of nutrition (or the other way around). Whether you are a gym rat, like to sweat it out at home or are the outdoorsy, sporty kind, just a few fitness slip-ups can sabotage your efforts to shape up. We tell you how to navigate every fitness hurdle to tone up while building strength and improving stamina.
- We’ve been told how stretching before a workout can work wonders for us. Many studies have found that stretching after a workout can help you wind down/cool off while doing so before can diminish muscle capacity. Do a low-intensity warm-up before exercising instead to reap maximum benefits.
- Running, whether you do it on asphalt, green grass or the treadmill, will put the same amount of stress on your knees and other joints. It is best to mix up your cardio routine with other calorie-torching activities like cycling or the elliptical machine to be on the safer side.
- You cannot make up for over-eating by exercising more. Your physique is a result of 80% diet and 20% exercise. Also, make sure that you are not overestimating the number of calories burned during the period of your workout (wear a workout monitoring fitness band to help matters).
- Targeted fat loss is a myth. No matter what kind of exercises you do, you cannot control the weight loss process or the place from which fat is burned – it is usually uniform i.e. from all over the body.
- Sweating more during a gruelling exercise regime does not mean that you have singed more calories – it might just be a result of the sultry weather, the temperature inside your gym or home, or changes in your body (for instance, hormonal).
- Lifting lighter weights over numerous reps will not help you bulk up faster. Start lifting heavier weights gradually; more muscle mass also means that you burn more fat.
- Vegetarian diets are not necessarily healthier and less fat-inclusive than those that include meat. It is better to have a wide variety of nutritious foods – just make sure to control your potions.
- Women and men do not need to exercise differently as we all have the same body structure even if the hormonal composition is different. It is best to include both cardio and strength training in your workout for best results (women cannot put on a muscular appearance i.e. bulk up due to estrogen, so pick up those weights now).
- If you feel sore, apply a cold ice pack on the spot or immerse in cold water instead of using hot water to constrict open blood vessels (they expand due to higher body heat during exercising) and lower lactic acid deposition in your muscles.
You might think that working out on an empty stomach is a strict no-no. New studies show that you burn more calories when you exercise before breakfast – just make sure you drink lots of water beforehand.
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