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5 Workout Habits You Need to Break ASAP

Going to the gym is hard enough… don’t make it worse for yourself by doing these five things. 

Staying For Too Long at the Gym

“Not all who wander are lost”… well, not in this case.

A 45 minute to an hour workout is a perfect span of time to spend at the gym to exercise efficiently. Walking around aimlessly, playing on your phone, or scrolling through social media in between machines makes it *that* much harder to start up your workout again. This, in turn, causes you to dread trips to the gym because of how much time it takes out of your day. Consider your exercise part of your “me time” for the day, and have your first priority be bettering yourself in the few and precious moments you have away from school and work. 

Walking in Without a Set Plan

The gym can be tough to navigate, especially if you’re new to working out. Creating a basic outline of your workout in your Notes app of exercises and machines you want to hit helps you achieve a full and effective workout. If you’ve seen any exercises on YouTube or have some in your mind you want to try, jot them in your notes with the reps/time interval next to the exercise name. As mentioned in my first tip, organizing your workout is a great way to get in and get out, allowing you to feel accomplished with what you did in the last hour.

Avoiding Weightlifting

Can we all abandon the idea that weightlifting makes you gain weight?

Up until last year, I refused to even touch a five-pound weight because I believe that. I stuck to the treadmill, did a few ab exercises, then left the gym thinking I had gotten a good workout in. But after taking a few Strength and HIIT classes, and FINALLY listening to what I’d been told *forever* about how beneficial weightlifting is, I began incorporating more and more weights into my routine. The difference in my workouts then and now is amazing; I have noticed that my legs and arms are more toned than they ever have been before. Weightlifting aids in weight loss, boosts your metabolism, and works muscles that remain untouched by typical cardio exercises. Grab two ten-pound weights before the gym rats get to them and work your arms, core, and legs better than ever before. 

Only Going to the Gym With a Friend

Working out alone can get old, and having someone with you at the gym keeps your spirits high. However, relying on somebody’s presence too heavily means your motivation can start to depend on theirs, when you two might have completely different goals, body types, and preferences. This dependence might even cause you to compare your progress to theirs, which is counterproductive and harms the way we see ourselves in relation to others. I’m not saying to never go with a friend to the gym– that can be super fun–just keep it balanced so you can focus on your needs ahead of others.

Not Eating Properly After Exercising

Exercising causes your muscles to slightly tear before they recover and grow back stronger, and eating protein and carbs after your workout aids in this important recovery process. Most experts recommend eating a healthy meal 45 minutes after your workout. Fueling yourself properly enhances your recovery, so stick to foods like quinoa, bananas, protein shakes, oatmeal, nuts, lean meats, grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, avocadoes, and egg after hitting the gym. 

From Fairfield, CT. A current business major hoping to switch to, or at least minor, in English. Loves writing (obviously), running, soccer, coffee, and Cody Ko.
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