Many women today are making fitness one of their top priorities. If you’re a health-conscious woman, you probably have some ideas in mind for how you are planning to up your fitness game and make your body stronger. However, if you don’t watch out for these common fitness mistakes, you’ll make things a whole lot harder for yourself!
Setting Unreasonable Expectations
It’s deeply disappointing when you set a goal, and you start working hard to reach that goal only for the results to be much less than what you expected. But did you go into it with reasonable expectations in the first place?
Let’s take weight loss, for example. If you lower your calorie intake and increase your activity levels, you can realistically expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. That number is an average, and it might differ from person to person, but it does give you an idea of what’s possible.
Want six-pack abs? That’s another thing you have to be reasonable about. The average woman needs about 20-26 months to lose enough fat to have a visible six-pack. In addition, regular exercise must be done throughout that time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have six-pack abs, as long as you’re realistic about how long it will take and the work you’ll have to put in.
Not Drinking Enough Water
You probably felt annoyed as a kid when your mom repeatedly told you to drink plenty of water, but she was right! Some women underestimate how vital water is to their bodies, and they don’t get enough water as a result. Don’t ignore this essential part of your health! Your body needs water for a variety of reasons like eliminating waste, protecting joints and tissues, keeping your cells working properly, and so much more.
The recommended amount of water for women is 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water per day. That number covers all sources of water. Approximately 20% of your daily fluid intake comes from food, and the remainder comes from water and other beverages.
One extra tip: You’ll need additional water if you are exercising, sweating because of hot weather, or pregnant or breastfeeding.
“No pain, no gain” is a popular phrase. But are you taking it too far? Pushing your body past its limits is a costly mistake that could cause sickness or injury.
Let’s say you feel soreness in your muscles after a workout, or you feel stomach pain or weakness if you haven’t had much to eat. You may believe you’re making good progress with your fitness because you think that feeling very uncomfortable is a sign of progress.
However, you need to be aware of what you’re doing to your body. You may be damaging your muscles during workouts, or you’re not eating enough and not getting enough nutrients! Your doctor can help you understand your body’s limits.
Comparing Yourself to Other Women
You know the feeling: You’ve been trying to get fit, and you look at pictures of other women on social media who are on their own fitness journeys. Then, you get discouraged when you see how small one woman’s waist is, or how well-shaped another woman’s thighs are. It’s not fair that some women have a perfect body, right?
Actually, no one is “perfect.” Just because someone’s body is a different shape than yours doesn’t mean that their body is better.
Comparing yourself will demotivate you, and might even cause you to give up! Instead of envying so-called “perfect” women, recognize that women come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s okay if another woman’s body looks different than yours. Every woman’s fitness journey is unique, so don’t pressure yourself to try to look exactly like someone else.
Another common mistake is not sticking to a consistent plan and instead hopping from program to program. There are tons of diet and workout plans out there, so it’s hard to decide which one to choose. And once you’ve picked one, you may see results more slowly than you’d hoped. You might switch to a different plan or routine, thinking that’s the one that’s perfect for you. And then the results STILL don’t turn out great. So you switch again, and again…
What’s happening here is that you’re letting your impatience guide you. Be patient and stick to one plan instead of hopping around. Becoming fit means making a commitment to the process over a long period of time. Try your best to consistently make the right choices each and every day. Staying patient and consistent isn’t easy, but over time, you WILL see results.
Being Too Repetitive
While consistently sticking to a plan is important, that doesn’t mean you need to be overly repetitive. You can stay away from junk food without being forced to eat the same food over and over again. Remember, not all healthy foods are the same. Different foods contain different kinds of nutrients that will benefit your body, so if you’re not eating a variety of foods, you’re missing out!
Likewise, when you exercise, don’t only do one routine that you never change. It’s easy to get used to doing one thing that becomes familiar to you, but that may not always be the best thing for your body. Plus, it’s just plain boring. Try different kinds of workouts that focus on different body parts. Also, be sure to do both aerobic exercise and resistance training. Studies have found that weight loss is most likely to happen when people do both of these types of exercises instead of doing too much of one or the other.
Relying on Low-Fat or Diet Foods
A huge part of getting fit is eating healthy. You might think that eating healthy means choosing foods with “low fat,” “diet,” or “light” labels on them. The problem is, these labels can be misleading, making you think you’re eating something that’s good for you when you really aren’t.
Foods with these kinds of labels may seem harmless, but watch out — they often contain sugar or other things that pile on the calories. Before buying food, remember to read the nutrition facts and ingredients so that you know exactly what you’re about to buy. And instead of relying on the “low fat” label and believing that all fat is automatically bad, keep in mind that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are actually good for you. They lower harmful LDL cholesterol in your body.
You Are Not Keeping Records Of Your Fitness Plan
If you aren’t keeping a record of your foods and exercises, you’re making a big mistake. Don’t try to memorize everything — write it down! Keep a record of everything you eat, everything you drink, your exercises, your weight, and your body measurements. You can use your phone, your computer, or good old pencil and paper.
Life happens, and you may forget to write things down from time to time, but it’s good to try to stick with it. This record will become a valuable resource as time goes on because you’ll be able to notice patterns. You’ll realize what kinds of foods and exercises are best for your body. And you’ll keep yourself honest about how much you’re really eating each day.
Doing It All By Yourself
Finally, one more mistake a lot of women make is that they think they need to do everything on their own. They believe that being a strong, independent woman means not needing anyone’s help. Let’s be clear: This is not a great way to get fit and reach your goals!
If you’re trying to improve your fitness, you can benefit from connecting with other women who have similar fitness goals. You can find these women in online groups or in-person meetups. Once you connect, form friendships, and motivate one another. Having a group of supportive people around you doesn’t mean that you lack independence. It means that you’re making a choice to be emotionally healthy and not just physically healthy.
Moving Past the Mistakes
Now that you’re aware of these mistakes, you’ll be better prepared to get fit, get stronger, and maintain a healthy weight. Women’s bodies are strong — and now it’s time to unlock the full potential of your own body. Be prepared and get smart about your fitness!