by Leigh Ann Thomas, Certified Personal Trainer

When it comes to exercise, you really can’t go wrong as long as you’re getting in some kind of physical activity. Doing any exercise is always better than nothing and your body will thank you with every workout you complete. However, if you’re looking to achieve a specific goal, such as lose fat, build more muscle or lose weight, then you’ll want to avoid the most common mistakes people make when working out.

Mistake #1 – Not Scheduling Your Workout

Scheduling your workouts in your planner or on a calendar forces you to make time for it in your day, thus generating that accountability factor. This will also allow you to plan around your workout so you can effectively manage your day, in the event that something does come up. When you consider your workout to be as important as a business meeting or a doctor’s appointment, then you’re more likely NOT to skip it.

Mistake #2 - Working Out Without a Plan

Working out without a plan or program is similar to baking a complex dessert without the recipe. You may have an idea of what you need to be doing, but you don’t have the exact ingredient list or the directions to make it happen. Exercise prescription is unique for each individual. Working out for your body type, fitness level and goals should all be considered when developing a workout plan and is extremely important for your safety. If you aren’t sure where to begin, consult a Personal Trainer at your gym who can develop a program and guide you through your workout.

Mistake #3 – Not Incorporating Cardio AND Strength Training Into Your Program

Building muscle is the foundation to a strong body. If your main goal is to lose weight, then you must incorporate resistance training into your program. The more muscle you have, the faster your body will be able to burn and metabolize fat. Lifting weights will keep your metabolism revving its engine for the next 48-72 hours post-workout, which means you’re body becomes a fat burning machine. Fat lives in your adipose tissue right beneath the skin and right above your muscles. Often times, you’re unable to notice your muscle definition unless you burn off the fat first, revealing that “toned” appearance that we all work for!

Moreover, cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. In doing so, cardiovascular exercise signals the circulatory system to provide oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles, as well as your brain. With the additional oxygen and blood flow to your brain, your brain can release growth hormone which stimulates cell growth, ultimately improving brain function and memory.

There are many types of metabolic conditioning, but for the ultimate fat-busting results, incorporating interval-style cardio, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), into your workouts, you’ll accelerate your calorie burn, torch fat and achieve the results you want in half the time.

Mistake #4 – Not Supplementing for Your Active Lifestyle

Exercise increases your overall health and well-being, but your body also requires nutrients to facilitate growth and recovery. Just like a car, we expect our vehicle to run perfectly, but we also understand that our car requires regular oil changes and fuel in order to operate. Cars do not produce their own oil or their own gasoline. Just like a car, our bodies do not produce all the nutrients and vitamins we need in order to function. Living an active lifestyle requires a supplement plan that supports the needs (think: energy production, immune support) of your body.

-Dr. Hotze’s Power Pak is designed to help you achieve the lifestyle you want with the protection you need. This pack includes the highest quality of vitamins and minerals, which help fuel your body with energy, support and protect your immune system, and improve cardiovascular function. 

-Magnesium – Responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, magnesium is an essential mineral that our body cannot live without. Magnesium deficiency is typically due to stress, exercise, prescription drugs, alcohol and other factors, and can lead to nerve impulses, muscle weakness, cardiovascular problems, and seizures.  Supplementing to support optimal levels of magnesium can regulate and manage abnormal symptoms throughout the body to help you function at your best.

-Vitamin D – Vitamin D is critical for bone, heart and brain support. Even though the sun provides vitamin D naturally and you’re eating healthy, you may not be getting as much as you think you need. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to soft, brittle bones, some cancers, weight gain and other maladies (Denoon). Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and promotes bone growth, which is an added bonus if you’re already lifting weights.

Mistake #5 – You’re Still Eating a Poor Diet

You know the saying, “you can’t out exercise a bad diet.” Well, it’s true, unless you’re a teenager or you were blessed with superhuman genes where your metabolism can handle just about anything.  As for the rest of us, it takes a little more discipline in the kitchen to support our efforts in gym. Ideally, your diet should consist of:

  • High quality, grass-fed protein (beef, chicken, eggs)
  • Fibrous, dark leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, asparagus)
  • Fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Healthy fats (think omega 3s, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil)
  • Probiotics (full-fat yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kombucha, sauerkraut)  

Gluten, yeast, simple carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods should be avoided at all costs, for these foods are toxic to the body. Consuming foods that will actually enrich your health, instead of sabotaging it, will benefit you not only in the short-term, but in the long-term as well.

Mistake #6 – You’re Not Doing Something You Enjoy

Most people quit an exercise program before they even give it a chance to see results. Why? Because they don’t enjoy it. Working out requires discipline, time and effort. Why would you commit any of those precious things to something you don’t enjoy doing? In order to be successful in your workout program, you must find a way to make things fun, interesting and effective.

If you are the kind of person that requires accountability and guidance, hiring a Personal Trainer may be what you need in order to be successful. If you prefer to work out alone, then maybe exercising at home such as following a program on DVD could be more your speed. If you enjoy music and high energy, group exercise classes such as Zumba or kickboxing could be for you! Or if you prefer a slower, more meditative way to channel your inner Buddha, then a yoga class has an open mat just for you.

The possibilities are endless and nowadays you can find almost any style of exercise available to you in your town or online. Find an activity that makes you happy, but also challenges you to step outside of your comfort zone and grow in your practice. If you follow these simple guidelines and are making the effort towards improving your life, we believe you’re already on the right path to success. Progress over perfection is the goal!  As mentioned earlier, any exercise is better than nothing!

Resource :

The Truth About Vitamin D: Why You Need Vitamin D, by Daniel J. DeNoon