As many of us know it gets more difficult to get fit and keep the weight off as we get older. Thanks to mother nature, our metabolism slows down and we lose muscle density as much as 3% to 5% a year after 30. Avoiding these common mistakes can help.
Mistake 1 – We Make Excuses and Delay
It’s easy to make excuses. Life’s too busy, you feel intimidated bout going to the gym or feel like you cant afford a membership, your body aches, its too dark in the evenings to go after work…
TIP: Set a routine. Book it into your schedule. First thing is the morning is great as it gets your body moving, or try a lunchtime walk or post dinner stretch.
Mistake 2 – Get Stuck in a Rut
Are you stuck in a rut? Been doing the same walk or workout routine for years? Is it more of about meeting up with friends than sweat? Your body gets used to the same routine and stops changing.
TIP: It is time to add in something new. If you’re walking, set new targets. Try different classes.
Mistake 3 – You Are Too Slow – You Need to up the Pace
You have got used to a set pace, a certain weight, length of stride and have stopped pushing up your heart rate.
TIP: Add some HIIT style workouts to burn more calories. Make sure you push through the plateau!
Mistake 4 – You Are Not Fuelling Your Workouts
If you’re eating too much, too little or the wrong type of foods it will impact you – if you are hungry you may not have energy, if you overeat may feel bloated. It also can make you feel like you dont have much energy which makes you less likely to want to workout.
TIP: Eat a healthy balanced diet. Try not to eat for 60 minutes before you work out. Have a protein bar on hand and keep hydrated.
Mistake 5: Your Plan Isn’t Realistic or You Have the Wrong Mindset
If you start off with a negative mindset, you are doomed to failure. Equally, if you have an unrealistic plan of how much you are going to work out, how much weight you want to lose straight away or the kind of exercise you will do, you may be setting yourself up to fail.
TIP: First decide on some small steps and goals. Do you want to lose weight, tone or just feel stronger? Once you have decided on some realistic goals what you want to change build a plan around it and reward yourself for small progress.
Mistake 6: You Feel Intimidated by the Gym/Exercise
Exercise can be intimidating, especially going to the gym with all that equipment. Don’t worry, apparently 80% of gym goers do not know how to use the equipment!
TIP: Book a gym consultation or go with a friend and get a tour. Get some advice from a professional and do a gym assessment test.
Mistake 7: You’re so Unfit It Hurts
You feel too unfit to start working out and get out of breath and sore after a few minutes of working out. You feel too out of shape to know where to start.
TIP: Push aside the negative thoughts, remind yourself of all the people that transform themselves and get fit slowly. Visualise success and take it slowly and stretch after every workout.
Mistake 8: You Over-exercise
It’s a common mistake, people start to exercise but forget that rest is just as important as the workout. Your muscles need time to recover!
TIP: Schedule a few rest days a week. On those days, a gentle walk can help stretching your muscles. The key is to let your body recover and not get over tired.
Mistake 9: You Give up Too Soon
Just like new year resolutions most people expect to see results too fast and then give up if they do not get instant results. The key is to find ways to keep motivated – exercise with a friend for motivation and include it in your daily regime.
TIP: View exercise as a long-term commitment. It’s all part of a long term goal to make you feel better, stronger and healthier rather than just about losing weight quickly.
It’s common to feel like you have less energy and less muscle as you get older – but by following the tips you can do something about it and soon you will be feeling toned and see an improvement in your muscle and bone density.