10 Fitness Mistakes You’re Making

When I start working with Baby Boomers or older adults, they’re amazed by the information I provide! To me, as both a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian, it’s important to give accurate and valuable advice. And whether it’s correcting bad (and potentially unsafe) form when lifting weights or re-shaping eating habits, I’ve seen a lot of fitness mistakes over the years.

Work smart while building fitness as you age!
Work smart while building fitness as you age!

I’ve put together a list of the 10 most common errors I see; be careful not to make these!

1) Thinking exercise alone will lead to significant weight loss.
Many people start working out at the gym expecting to lose weight. While physical activity does burn calories, the numbers are not significant for noticeable weight loss. Most experts agree that weight loss is actually 75% – 80% what goes into your mouth.

2) Giving up on exercise when no weight loss occurs.
While exercise isn’t the greatest help for weight loss (it is, however, a major key to weight maintenance), physical activity does reduce the risk of 35 harmful conditions and life-threatening diseases, including premature death. The bottom line: DON’T STOP MOVING!!! Your health and wellbeing are depending on your.

3) Doing the same exercises all the time.
In order to built muscle size and strength, it’s important to both change up your routine and gradually increase the load. For example, do cardio before strength training once in a while, or vice versa. And most important, if you can easily perform 15 reps of one exercise, increase the weight by 10%.

4) Exercising heavy every day.
It’s critical to give your muscles 48 hours to recover before challenging them again. That means you can do upper body one day, lower the next, or both upper and lower every other day.

5) Ignoring diet altogether.
In addition to promoting weight loss as mentioned above, eating the proper amount of protein (see #9 below), at the proper times, promotes muscle gain and maintenance for a stronger body–one that is able to function easily with all the activities of everyday life, including balance. Diet is also critical for blood sugar control, blood pressure and a host of other health conditions.

6) Not thinking about water.
Consuming enough water is important while exercising. Adequate fluid intake transports nutrients to cells and waste products away from them, and keeps muscle cells working properly. Don’t depend on your thirst–drink the number of ounces of water equal to half your weight, or enough to keep your urine the color of lemonade (light yellow).

7) Avoiding carbohydrates.
Many people think they need to avoid carbohydrates to be fit. Not true. Muscles use stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy, which must be replaced after exercising. And the brain uses carbohydrates exclusively for energy. The key is to select the right carbs, not to avoid all of them!

8) Eating too much protein at night.
While we can use them for energy, protein calories are best used for muscle growth and repair, especially as we grow older. Unfortunately, our bodies have limited capacity to store excess dietary protein from a single meal. So if you consume a large steak for dinner and don’t pick up your dumbbells until tomorrow, that protein isn’t contributing to muscle growth (but it can be converted to stored fat). It’s best to eat equal amounts of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

9) Concentrating exclusively on cardio.
Cardio is great for your heart, mental health and other things. But weight training is arguably more important. It helps build and maintain muscles to keep us from falling and losing our independence, contributes to an increase in the rate of calorie burning and helps strengthen bones.

10) Not asking for help.
Whether you’re in a gym or at the doctor’s office, it’s important to reach out to trained professionals. Your own healthcare professionals, Registered Dietitians, physical therapists and personal trainers can help you get more fit, without injuring yourself or wasting your time and money.

Want to learn more about accurate fitness information?

Please join me on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., for a free live presentation, 7 Truths About Weight Loss!  This workshop is for folks over age 50. You’ll learn the strategies I’ve taught my clients to help them reach their fitness goals:
• Why it’s so difficult to control weight at your age–and what you can do about it
• Which is more valuable when it comes to weight loss & maintenance–food intake or exercise
• How calorie counting alone won’t assure successful weight loss–but what will
• Why even a small success in weight loss is valuable
• And much more!
This event, valued at $147, is free to folks in my fitness community, and will be held at the Ronald H. Roberts Temecula Public Library at 30600 Pauba Rd. Temecula, CA 92592.

To sig up, register here or please call: 951-533-2612.

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