Four Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Exercise Routine

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It’s 2021 and with a new year comes a new opportunity to get on track with your fitness routine. Maybe you’re curious about different types of workouts, starting something new, or want a change in your routine. This is the guide for you.

If you’ve let your routine slide over the holidays or during the pandemic, it can be hard to find the right kind of workout that your body and mind craves. Starting from scratch can be tough, but it’s not impossible.

As with most new endeavors you might be more prone to common mistakes that impact your progress and make it harder to see results. Here are a couple of mishaps to avoid when you’re getting back into a workout routine at home or outdoors.

Setting Too Steep a Challenge

When setting goals you don’t want to make them too lofty. They should be easily achievable when you start out to trigger the reward centers of your brain. Creating this feedback loop is a great way to ensure you return to your workouts. High expectations and goals are great but won’t happen overnight. They can add excess pressure and make you feel discouraged if you’re not finding the results you’re looking for in the time you want.

Instead set smaller goals rather than one big one. This will make it easier to find immediate successes and to stay motivated! Perhaps it’s to lose a pound or two a week or to tack on another mile on your bike workout each week. These are minor and can keep momentum up.


Working Out Too Often

You might think hitting the gym or turning a video on daily might be wise, but actually it can be too hard on your body if you’re new to exercising or haven’t been doing it as often in a while. Your body needs rest to recover and repair muscle damage.

Plus, even if you are more advanced, your body still needs a rest day or two to recover or else overuse from training could happen—and this will set you back further than where you started by preventing you from movement until you’ve recovered. Aim for 3-5 days of cardio and 2-3 days of strength training to get into the groove. It’ll vary based on the individual though and you can always consult a trainer for advice!

The buddy system works in all aspects of working out.

Not Looking for Support or at it Holistically

You’ll likely find faster and better results if you start working out with a buddy or at least have others as support for healthy habits, such as eating clean and nutritious meals at home to complement those strenuous workouts or a partner who might wake up earlier with you to join in on that morning run.

Exercise alone isn’t the answer—you also need to feel confident and able to work out freely, as well as make changes to your lifestyle to reduce stress and eat better. Or else, you won’t be able to find those results! You can burn calories in the gym but if you eat a bacon cheeseburger after and have too much stress, the fat won’t budge.

Find others as aids for keeping motivated and for helping on your journey through other holistic means when in the home and when dining out.


Doing Something You Don’t Enjoy

You might think running will be the answer since your friend lost weight while doing so or loves waking up for that runner’s high, but perhaps running isn’t for you—and that’s okay! If you don’t enjoy running, don’t do it, as you’re more likely give up quickly. Instead, try new things, like HIIT, pilates, yoga, resistance training or dance.

If you find something you look forward to doing you will stick with it. And switch it up for variation if you like, such as taking a cycling class one day and then boxing for your next workout.