First off, I give credit for today’s post to my friend Ashley who published a similar one recently. It got me thinking about what fitness behaviors I no longer do, so I wanted to share them with you. Some I have learned to let go of after learning more as a personal trainer and some have just come with experience. Not everything is applicable to everyone, but I’ve found that these behaviors no longer suit my current fitness goals.
Don’t get me wrong — any type of physical exercise is better than no physical exercise, but there was a time when I would run exclusively. There’s also nothing wrong with running, but it doesn’t work for my body and it’s also important as a runner to incorporate some type of cross-training to avoid overtraining and overuse of running-specific muscle groups.
Incorporating strength and resistance training challenges the body in ways that cardio doesn’t. The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism can work. Building strength also helps protect joints and bones as you age, so it’s important to make part of your routine.
Spend 90 min in the gym
When I was in college, I would go to the gym, run 5 miles on the treadmill, then lift weights for 30-45 minutes. Today I attend Crossfit and high-intensity classes that are an hour long and give me great results. As long as you have an effective plan, there’s no need to spend two hours in the gym on a regular basis. Train smarter, not longer.
Wear the same shoes for every type of exercise
Before I started getting serious about fitness, I wore the same pair of sneakers for everything — running, lifting, walking around day to day, etc. Once I started running, I quickly realized how important your footwear is. You can get fitted for running shoes for free at most running stores and large chains.
After I stopped running, I realized that my running shoes were ok for the high-intensity classes I was doing, but they weren’t the best. I needed a shoe that had a little more structure around the sides and my ankles due to explosive and lateral movements. Just this year I started using weightlifting shoes in my Crossfit classes and they’ve made a big difference in the amount I’m able to squat. Think about what activity you’re planning to do and make sure your footwear is appropriate for that activity.
I have gone through so many phases with food — eating as healthy as I possibly could, demonizing all sugar, and not caring at all and eating ice cream from the carton on the couch. I hadn’t counted calories until last year when I decided to take part in a 4-week challenge at my gym. I knew it wasn’t something that I would continue forever, but I had never tracked my macronutrients and knew that it would be good for me to experience it in order to know what it was all about.
I know that some people need to count calories as part of a regimented weight loss program or likewise, but for me it’s a slippery slope into disordered eating behaviors. I don’t pay attention to the calories in what I’m eating, but I do pay attention to what I’m eating. I try and eat a good amount of protein, so if I’m hungry I will tend towards a more protein-heavy snack than a carb or fat-heavy snack because that’s what works for my body.
Own a scale
I think this should be on everyone’s list. It’s really not important since weight can fluctuate so much even in a single day. For me, it was nothing that ever made me happy and I prefer to take cues from how I’m feeling or how my clothes are fitting.
What types of things make your list? Let me know in the comments!