Before you get your next sweat on, think about these five things that might be preventing you from reaching your fitness goals!
Forget the fan and/or air-conditioning
Nothing drives me more crazy than doing the hard work to warm my body up then having a fan or blast of air-conditioning right on me. The whole point of working out is to break a sweat. When the muscles get warm, you are able to get into a deeper work out, increasing mobility and flexibility. The other benefits are letting your body sweat it out and encourage toxin removal to benefit your overall health and beauty. Of course there are times where air conditioning is appropriate, but try to steer clear from the direct air blowing onto you.
A Chinese doctor that I used to see informed me that there have been studies in China that give mice symptoms similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis by having them exercise while blowing cold air on them. What they found is it creates an infection in the body. The coincidence is that I grew up dancing everyday and then would go outside after sweating into very cold Chicago weather. I have also found this common denominator to be true of many athletes and others living with various forms of arthritis.
Drink fluids before and after, not during
It is very important that you stay hydrated, especially when you are active. There are scenarios that require continual hydration, as in athletes that train for long periods of time outdoors in the hot sun. I’m talking about an hour-and-a-half yoga class or an hour gym or cardio workout.
Again, our goal is to warm up the body and drinking fluid has the ability to cool off all your hard work.
Running vs. falling down the hill
There is a huge difference between running and falling down a slope. I often see people trying to run down a slope, very heavy-footed, with their head ahead of their body. This is a recipe for disaster; not only are you hurting your knees, ankles and back, but without having the controlled resistance you will not gain any positive results from running with bad form.
Tip: If running down an incline, lean slightly back so that you have control through resistance, focusing on the heel of the foot landing first. Keep your chest lifted, core engaged, lift up through your perineum, and focus on your breath in-sync with your left foot.
Stretch before and after
I know our gym teachers always recommended this but there is truth to it. Stretching prior decreases injury but stretching after is where the change occurs. When your body is warm is when you are able to create more flexibility. Bottom line, people that are flexible stretch every day. Yogis are great examples of this. They practice vinyasas to heat up the body during the first half of a class and focus more on stretching and opening up during the second half. Give yourself time to incorporate this into your routine.
Thinking you can eat like an animal because you worked out
The ying and yang of life. Yes there are times when after a great workout you will reward yourself, and rightfully so, but turning bad food choices into a habit after a workout is a recipe for disaster. Instead, nourish your body with optimum foods that hydrate and give you energy for your workouts and recovery.
Try implementing these tips and see if they work for you!