Ways you’re ruining your workout

By Abigail Warren

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

While many students workout, not everyone is doing it right. In fact, you might be sabotaging your workout routine without even know it. Here are some common mistakes and why they might be hurting more than helping.

You spend too much time on social media and your phone: This is one of the most common mistakes while working out. Almost everyone is a culprit of texting, calling, maybe even Snapchatting selfies in between different periods of a workout. But your selfie can wait. Really it can. When your phone is in your face, it cuts back on time you could be working out. You may find yourself at the gym for two hours and may feel like you deserve to give yourself a pat on the back, but when more than half that time is spent with your phone your workout is not successful as you think it may be. Instead put your phone on airplane mode. This way you can still rock out to your playlist but won’t be distracted by your friend group’s non-stop group message or an email that can wait.

Repeating the same workout: Some people have a good habit of working out almost every day. But sometimes those people repeat the same exercise every time they go to the gym, which may seem fine. In reality it’s not. If someone was to run two miles every day, it may feel OK. Eventually, though, your body is going to get used to this. When this happens, the muscles and your body in general won’t work as hard doing this workout. Not only will this prevent calorie loss, but it will also end up weakening your muscles. This workout mistake is an easy one to fix. Switch it up. Switch out your ordinary run with an ab set or some weights.

Your workout is too easy: Some people make the assumption that just as long as you go to the gym and do something, that you’re working out. You may be  “working out,” but you may not be working your body as you should be. Walking nonchalantly for 30 minutes at a 3.0 mph pace won’t do much for your body. If a workout is not hard enough, your body isn’t working hard enough. Instead increase your casual walk to a speed walk. However a run would probably be a better choice.

Bad music playlist: Although this may sound silly, music really does have an effect on our workouts. The difference between listening to music while working out and not listening to music is huge. Listening to music can change your motivation level and can keep you having that on-the-roll feeling. Before heading to the gym or on your run, be sure you have an upbeat playlist that you know will keep you going.

No recovery: A lot of times after finishing a run or the last set of exercise, the first thing we want to do is get in our car and go home. However, by doing so we miss a huge part of a workout that most people overlook which is recovery. Without the proper recovery, we leave our muscles weak, and when we want to workout next are muscles won’t be fully recovered from the workout before. Before rushing out of the gym, take 10-15 minutes to stretch, cool down and recover. This way when you workout next, your body will feel much more refueled.

Rest periods too long: There is a fine line between a short rest period and a straight up rest. Taking too long of a rest will trick your muscles into thinking that your workout is complete and the muscles will start shutting down. Although too long of rests will damage your workout.

Not hydrated: This is something I’m sure you’ve been told over and over again by your parents and doctors: “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.” The saying, “Mother knows best,” does not fall short here. Hydration should not be taken lightly, especially when it comes to working out. Dehydration can lead to serious injuries when working out such as fainting, dizziness and lack of motivation. Before you hit the gym, be sure you have enough water in you and enough water to consume during a workout. Also, always be sure to rehydrate when you’re done.

You haven’t changed your diet: Working out can only take you so far. The other part of a healthy lifestyle and a proper workout is a healthy diet which includes all categories of food in moderation. Working out wile relying on a burger and fries will not only have you feeling queasy but it will also will hold back the full potential of your workout. Skip the burger and fries and switch to a hearty sandwich and apple instead.

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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