Hive Health Media

5 Bad Habits That Sabotage Your Workouts

5. Talking the Walk – There are several ways to take this. Literally, if you are on a walk and can comfortably talk the whole time, you are probably taking more of a stroll, mosey, or the infamous lollygag, than an actual fitness walk. Half literal, half metaphorical is if you’re one of those people who gets onto a strength machine in the gym, then proceeds to take a prolonged “passive” rest break between sets.

I'm a good girl t-shirt - bad habits

First of all, you should be taking an “active” rest, but more to the point, if you workout with a friend, and spend the rest time chatting with each other, both of you are now talking instead of working. Ahem! And in the metaphorical sense, if spend more time thinking or talking about how you plan to exercise soon than you do actually doing any exercise, well, that would definitely be a bad habit, don’t you think?

4. Using Exercise as an Excuse to Overeat – Any time the word “excuse” or “reason” shows up, you know you’re about to sabotage yourself. Yes, vigorous exercise can make you hungry. Yes, you should replenish yourself, especially if you’re actually hungry, but no no no no no, it should not be empty or excessive calories. If you fill up on healthy calories (sorry, Twinkies will not get in with a fake I.D.) you will probably stay sated longer. But whether you eat sweet peas from your garden or Ho-Hos from the Garden of Tempting Processed Snacks that Call to You at the Grocery Store End-Caps, you still have to expend more calories than you ingest. Unless your goal is weight gain, naturally!

3. 5 Minutes Late Turns into a Full-on Ditch – Baggy pants are okay; bagging class not so much. Don’t be one of those perennially late party poopers. Part of class is better than no class. If you have one of those instructors who hassles you if you miss the first few minutes, switch instructors. And if you usually go to the weight room, it really doesn’t matter if you’re a skosh late – the machines can’t tell time!

2. Gotta Get Fit Before I Can Work Out – Wha? Hunh? Can you believe I actually had a boyfriend who used this line to avoid the gym? He carried his membership card around in his pocket, but said there was no way he could go to the gym until he was in better shape. Don’t live in this black hole of opposite-day! The other people at the club are too busy working out to worry about your extra poundage. And if they judge you, that’s their problem. Who cares what those haters think?

1. Easily Distracted by Other Options – Is this you? Always meaning to get to the gym, but somehow something else always comes up. Had to clip the cat’s nails, iron the napkins (even though they’re paper), bring a forgotten lunch to the kids, and on and on until it’s too late.

Don’t be a squirrel. Be an exerciser! Get better habits. You can do it. Squirrel!

Alexandra Williams, MA (counseling) is one-half of humorous expert fitness advice columnists, Fun and Fit, which she writes with her identical twin sister, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA.

4 Comments

  1. Tim

    May 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Ha ha, “I can’t go to the gym until I’m in better shape.” that is a pretty stupid line to use. I have a gym membership through my work that I don’t use but my excuse is that I work too much and that I’m tired at the end of the day. I think I’ll to go in the morning to see if that works out better. Supposedly it will give me more energy throughout the day if I go in the mornings. Is this true?

    • Alexandra Williams, MA

      May 26, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Tim: According to research, there is a time of day that does seem to improve adherence and consistency. Read this: http://funandfit.org/2011/04/2434/.
      And it is a silly excuse, but we’ve heard it a LOT over the past 25 years!

    • Joe

      May 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      Absolutely, Tim! I get there at 5:30 am, work out fairly intensely for an hour then go home and start the day (I’m in the office at 8:30). I’ve always found that I have more energy throughout the day/evening by doing this. It’s noticeable too- I lack the energy at work when I don’t work out in the am.

      It might be hard to adapt the first couple of weeks but soon, you’re good to go. Discipline!

  2. Anne @ free address labels

    May 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

    There are lots of people out there who really needs workouts but tent to use those escape goat lines so they can find ways to avoid workouts. They don’t simply have the strong determination to get fit. Take good care of our health and let’s start exercising daily.

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