A healthy lifestyle is perhaps one of the most challenging commitments in life. In working out, there is an element of excitement. There’s a need to achieve desired results quickly and employ  a gung-ho approach to physical fitness.

However, well-meaning our intentions may be, sometimes, we unconsciously set ourselves up for failure. We fall for unhealthy practices or take on a hurried approach to exercise and dieting. Weight loss short cuts never work out. When you want to lose weight or gain muscle, you have to follow a strict regime, set realistic goals, and be determined in achieving them. So here are some of the pitfalls you need to avoid in exercising

Setting Unrealistic Goals

Realistic Goals

Many people want to look like celebrities and let’s face it, it’s great to aspire to have the bodies of models and actors. But keep in mind that people have varying body types. Some may not foster muscle development or weight loss as easily as others.

Instead of keeping the end goal in mind, set milestones for your fitness plan. Through this way, you can monitor your progress as you go along. This also keeps people from getting too overwhelmed with their fitness routines. You’ll have achievable targets. It helps when you’re set to go regularly through tedious exercises.

When searching for inspiration, it is best to pick someone you personally know. This way, you know that their achievement was borne out of an actual fitness plan that works. This person can also provide personal advice and daily habits. It will allow you to adapt to a fitness-oriented lifestyle faster and smoother. And we think you’re better off with a more realistic peg.

Doing too much too soon (diet and exercise)

Diet and Exercise

Remember, any abrupt changes in habit can be traumatic. Do not deprive yourself with very restrictive diets. Otherwise you will only make yourself miserable and unhealthy. Plus, the lack of nutrients can force your body to store more calories even with light meals. It’s counterproductive to any weight-loss plan.

Instead of swearing off meals, you can tweak and progressively whittle down your consumption of food. Gradually lay off the “bad” food. Stay away from sugary treats, greasy wings, or tons of white rice to lower your caloric intake. Structure your meals with all the food groups properly distributed. You can consult a nutritionist or a fitness expert for this. Allow yourself a cheat day every week to make the whole ordeal manageable. Remember, the body still needs fat anyway.

A gradual approach is also healthy when it comes to exercise. If you don’t exercise that much or you’re not used to exertions, do not do marathon runs right away. You can really hurt yourself and do serious damage to your heart and body.

Instead, start with a series of light exercises for around 30 minutes or less. As the body grows more accustomed to the routine, the reps per exercise can be increased. As you build endurance, you can add more exercises to the workout. Lengthening the duration of the entire routine works as well. Before long, you’ll build better endurance. You can add more routines as your body grows stronger. It is recommended that you consult a fitness instructor to put together an effective workout for your body type.

There are other alternatives to going to the gym or hiring a fitness instructor. Instead of going for more exercise classes, you can increase your activity levels by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Or you can walk down a block instead of hailing a cab.

Believing everything you hear or read

Believing Everything

With the Internet, we now have direct access to information faster than you can say “fat.” As such, we often encounter a string of supposedly effective diets. You’ll read about golden ticket workouts, and miracle supplements. Remember that different things work for different people. Sometimes it doesn’t. That is why gym instructors and fitness experts have their jobs in the first place.

Instead of going for a miracle workout or a fad diet, talk to a nutritionist. Talk to fitness or gym instructor to get the right fitness facts. The old fashioned way of dieting and working out is still best. Sure, it might take time to achieve the desired results, but the gradual shift in lifestyle will make your body accustomed to the routine. Remember, Manny Pacquiao didn’t win championships overnight. He did it through hard work, and so should you.

Getting easily discouraged

Easily Discouraged

If you feel that your routine isn’t yielding worthy results, be patient. People progress at different paces. The objective is for your body to get used to the fitness routine.

Stick to your plan and seek expert advice if need be. If you find yourself backsliding, don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes a lot of discipline to take on a new lifestyle. Don’t get discouraged. Keep your goals in mind and resume your healthy routine. In a couple of months, what your body perceives as normal is set to change for the better.

Doing things alone

Exercise Alone

You’re about to embark on this rather unique journey. It’s better to surround yourself with genuine and supportive people. They will keep you grounded but at the same time they can give you a decisive push. This is especially useful if they are also engaged in a healthy lifestyle. Doing things alone is fine but having companions while working out and dieting eases some of the stress involved.

Additionally, you can find inspiration in seeing your pals reap success in their fitness plans. At the very least, it’ll trigger some healthy competitiveness. You can even keep each other in check if anyone from your group is backsliding. Having company will help you go through difficult exercise routines and phases. Having a group exercise with you is a lot more fun.

Knowing what to avoid and how to deal with them should make the journey to a healthier version of you smoother. To know more about adopting a healthy lifestyle and securing beneficial health plans, do visit the PhilCare website.