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Don't Make This Fitness Mistake in the New Year

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If you make this mistake, you may have to restart your fitness journey all over again.

January is typically the time of year where the majority of us jump head first into new fitness goals, even though we could really start at anytime. Starting in December and leading up to the end of January, consumers see all sorts of fitness tips and tricks on how to get in shape. This is when we get high on the hype that surrounds fitness.

However, so many people pick up fitness only to leave it behind a couple of months later. Roughly 80% of people give up on their fitness resolutions by February and it could all be avoided if we steered clear of this making this beginner mistake.

The biggest mistake we can make is overtraining within the first couple of weeks in the New Year. Overtraining syndrome, the aftermath of too much training with minimal rest, is something that can occur if you have jumped into a certain mode or level of exercise way too fast. Burnout definitely hits hard and fast if you take on too much fitness too soon. Working out too much can also greatly increase your change of injury, which could bring you back to square one when it comes to your fitness goals.

What can we do to avoid making this mistake, but also maintain our fitness goals?

  1. Pace yourself. Do NOT go hard immediately! If you haven’t been working out regularly prior to the New Year, going from 0-100 is a horrible idea. You run the risk of injury and you set yourself up for failure. You need to start off slow and build your way up in intensity. Not only will you be able to prevent yourself from injuring yourself, but it will also help you build confidence in yourself as you steadily improve your strength and endurance.
  2. Instead of going harder, add some variety. One of the traps we fall into when we plateau in our fitness is going harder and faster. Unfortunately, this method can rapidly lead to overtraining syndrome, which is not what you want. Getting creative and thinking outside of the box will help you here. Try a yoga class one day and then a strength training class the next. This will not only make things more interesting for you with the added variety, but it’ll also allow you to use and strengthen different muscles.
  3. Form and choosing the right exercises are key. Moving correctly and maintaining form are the two things needed to yield maximum results. Not only that, but proper form can also prevent straining and further injury. Choosing the right exercises are also key to maintaining weight loss and building up strength and endurance. Many people make the mistake of picking the wrong type of exercise for certain outcomes. If you want to lose fat, pursuing cardiovascular exercise will be your route. Want to bulk up? Incorporate weights into your routine. Keep in mind that you have to maintain proper form no matter what exercise you choose.
  4. Get more sleep. We are hit hard by overtraining syndrome when we don’t spend time recuperating. This means we need to get more sleep. In order to prevent burnout, you should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep. This will not only allow your body to rest, but it will also maximize your workouts because it’ll restore your energy.
  5. Evaluate your performance. Our body talks to us when we are overdoing our fitness, but sometimes we don’t listen. Take a step back and start taking note of how your body responds to your workout routine. Notice lag while running? Were you winded after class ? These may be signs that you need to reduce the intensity of your workouts.