One of the most common ways that beginners in the fitness game slip up can be to focus too heavily on the wrong areas when it comes to their body’s overall wellness. Many of us were guilty of it during our teen and college years— we’d work out for an hour here and there by doing some heavy lifting, leaving the rest up to our metabolism and busy schedules.
However, how important is a well-balanced fitness ‘diet’ in keeping your gains consistent and your health a priority? Below, we’ve put together a list of what are arguably the most common factors that rookies can slip and avoid considering when attempting to improve their physique.
CARDIO MATTERS (YES, EVEN FOR YOU)
We’ve heard it all too many times before: the friend who deadlifts 300 pounds, but claims that cardio is an unnecessary component to his regimen. Like it or not, a proper amount of cardiovascular exercise each day ranks consistently as one of the most important overall factors when keeping your body healthy (and increasing your overall life span).
Cardio is no joke— some professionals have even speculated that excess weight training without the proper amount of supplementary cardio exercise can place undue strain on your system, as it struggles to support a substantial amount of muscle mass without the framework to back it up.
NO SLEEP = NO GAINS
Young lifters with busy schedules can be especially guilty of this one— in-between factoring in a loaded work schedule, a social life, trips to the gym and more, it can seem tempting to pass up a solid night’s sleep in exchange for a few extra hours of free time.
Don’t sleep on the importance of sleep: giving your body the proper amount of rest after intense workouts can be as important as your diet when it comes to providing your body with the energy it needs to convert your reps into positive progress.
SITTING DOWN IS WORSE THAN IT SOUNDS
As science gains a better understanding of how sedentary lifestyles can negatively impact us in the long run, an increasing number of studies are finding that sitting down too often can serve as one of the most detrimental factors to your overall health— some scientists have even coined the phrase that “sitting is the new smoking” when it comes to the habits of millennials.
Combating this one can sound impossible at first glance— even for those of us who work out for an hour or more each day, the amount of sitting that we end up doing during our hours in the office and at home add up.
If you’re serious about more than just looking fit, it may be worth it to consider investing in standing desks, posture-improving balls in lieu of standard chairs, and more— you might even consider an adjustable-height desk if you’re not ready to fully commit to standing up while you work.
NEVER NEGLECT YOUR DIET
You’d be surprised how many people can slack when it comes to keeping their diet consistent, even after dedicating hours per day toward the gym— it’s important to remember that your body can only do so much with the nutrition that you provide.
Ask any veteran gym rats, and they’ll more than likely be happy to tell you how ineffective your workout will be if you’re lifting all day and not giving yourself the proper amount of protein, B-vitamins, and more.
Similarly, burning calories all day at the gym can quickly be canceled out if you decide to binge on junk food afterwards— the amount you’ll burn by running 5 miles is nothing compared to the caloric intake of your average fast food burger.