Entry No. 11 – Are you making these fitness mistakes??
“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take” —Emma Goldman
I trust your 4th of July holiday went well. Here in Houston, we received quite the downpour, so unfortunately, our plans to watch fireworks from the rooftop were postponed. How was your holiday?
Thunder, lightning and Texas-sized mosquitoes aside, I am a proud American and blessed to see another year of our nation’s recognized independence. There’s a lot of negativity in the media right now; countless voices expressing their distaste of this country — for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are absolutely valid, but today’s blog post isn’t an introduction into politics. No matter the chaos, I love this country. I love its potential, the possibilities, the overall goodness in people and the vast experiences to be had. And I believe our freedoms should remain celebrated and protected.
That being said…the debriefing starts now.
Today I’d like to talk about five mistakes you could be making that are slowing down your progress.
Mistake No. 1: Not Taking the Time to Recover
Taking the time to recover after exercise is crucial to progressively intensifying the intensity, volume, rep count or endurance of your workouts. If you missed my former post on Total Recovery, I go into further detail about what to consider when healing your body. When you don’t include rest days, you risk putting your body into a hyper-stressed state which can lead to depression, chronic fatigue, overuse-injuries and hormonal imbalances.
Recovery goes beyond taking a day off to catch up on that Netflix series you’ve heard so much about. Recovery includes proper sleep, nutrition, supplements (if needed), mental recharge and socializing with people you love most.
Mistake No. 2: Holding Your Breathe
Surely I’m not the only one who has done this. You’re in the middle of an intense set, or perhaps running, doing yoga, jumping rope or swimming. And you start to feel that familiar burn in your chest. If you’re in a group class, or alongside a partner, you may hear the words, “Remember to breathe”. But if you’re solo? That burn in your chest will certainly remind you to inhale.
Learning how to utilize proper breathing techniques can and will affect your overall performance. If you find yourself having trouble with breathing deeply and evenly, take 5 minutes everyday to sit in solitude and just breath. Perhaps put on one of your favorite slow jams or instrumentals and work on even breathing.
Mistake No. 3: Not Learning New Things
Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, ““Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know. Whether it’s proper form or technique, nutrition, recovery techniques or any other form of self-improvement, only good things come from taking the time to learn. Hop online. Open a book. Or talk to a knowledgeable source.
Mistake No. 4: Buttermilk Hands
This is moreso related to my fellow weight lifters, but this can be applied to all athletes. Working on your grip strength helps tremendously with forearm muscularity, hand endurance and dexterity. Improved dexterity, which is defined as readiness and grace in physical activity with hands, is especially useful for musicians, and any profession that requires extended amounts of time at the keyboard.
Those who have an interest in being outdoors will find grip strength absolutely critical. Rock climbing, rope climbing, pulling heavy objects, moving into a new home, lifting bags of fertilizer in the garden, paddling a canoe on the lake, hauling a large fish onto your boat…the list goes on. All of these activities require a respectable amount of grip strength to manage efficiently, and you do yourself a massive disservice by not improving this important muscle. If you’re interested in incorporating some effective exercises to improve your grip strength, check out this article by Built Lean.
Mistake No. 5: Not Knowing Your Why
For some people, fitness is a means to accomplishing a temporary goal. Maybe you’re getting ready for vacation. Or a wedding. Perhaps you’re changing your lifestyle to get off medication. Or maybe you’re tired of the yo-yo and you’re ready to make a life long change. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it, this is YOUR why.
This fitness journey is not an easy one. If it was, everyone would be doing it and our country wouldn’t be facing an obesity epidemic. So whether you are in day 1 or day 1,000 of your fitness journey, you may find that motivation wanes several times. You will find yourself tempted to return to old habits. To throw in the towel when the going gets tough and results don’t come fast enough. It is during that moment, that you have to dig deeper and remind yourself of WHY you started in the first place.
That’s my five minutes for the day.
With love, and GAINS.
Today’s Random Nugget. In the year 1987, United Airlines saved $40,000 by removing ONE olive from salads served to first class customers.