Dr. Joseph Mercola’s articles reveal myriads of benefits exercise has to offer. However, the natural health expert warns that despite your best intentions to work out, there are still many habits that may cause exercise to backfire.
Do you exercise regularly and see no changes? If your answer is a resounding yes, then you should look at your routine and see whether or not you’re doing something wrong. Shape Magazine, for instance, lists several exercise mistakes that might be preventing you from reaping the maximum benefits of your workout.
Cutting Back on Sleep for Exercise
While Dr. Mercola recommends exercising first thing in the morning, this should not be a reason for you to cut back on sleep. In fact, skimping on sleep can affect your body’s fat burning capabilities as well as contribute to a number of health problems.
Recent research states that you do not need to exercise for long periods of time. The benefits will come if you exercise in the correct manner, regardless of the length. This means that rather than using slow, long-distance forms of exercise, you should switch to high intensity exercises. These exercises are far more efficient, demonstrating how humans are designed to move: in short but intense spurts with ample recovery time in between.
High intensity exercises allow you to work out different muscle groups in a short period of time. Plus, it can improve your cardiovascular fitness and your ability to burn fat in only a fraction of time. Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness exercises only require you to invest 20 minutes or less, two or three times a week. You may do so with an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, or a treadmill.
Focusing on One Specific Muscle Group
One hundred crunches are not enough to mold your abs into a toned six-pack. In reality, focusing on one specific area is counterproductive, according to Dr. Mercola. Before you can achieve muscle definition, you need to lose fat, in spite of what specific area you wish to target.
Fat loss can be enhanced with high intensity exercises, which build up muscle in different parts of your body, assist your fat burning capabilities, AND improve your aerobic fitness.
Because you might be pressed for time, you need to activate your muscle fibers through exercises that have great intensity and speed. Dr. Mercola says that Peak Fitness can give you all-around benefits because it is designed to recruit different types of muscle fibers in your body. It starts with the smaller motor units made up of slow-twitch fibers (which are aerobic in nature), onto the intermediate muscle fibers, and lastly to your fast-twitch fibers.
The main advantage in working your fast-twitch muscle fibers is that they produce the stimulus required to create muscle. Because they are largely glycolytic and store a lot of glucose, they can help increase your insulin sensitivity, helping protect you from all sorts of health risks.
Performing high intensity exercises can also increase your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH) or the “fitness hormone,” which possesses anti-aging capabilities.
Trying Out Different Types of Exercise Fads
Introducing variety to your workout can help challenge your body, but there should be a limit to this. Dr. Mercola says that it may not be productive to try every single exercise fad that comes along. While trying something new once in a while is helpful, it is still necessary to stick to a well-rounded fitness program.
Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness program will have you perform 20 minutes of anaerobic Peak exercises. This program even incorporates other important types of exercises such as strength training, core training, aerobic training, and stretching.
Applying the “No Pain, No Gain” Ideology
One of the biggest mistakes people do is exercising too intensely and/or too frequently. According to the article featured in Shape Magazine, “No pain, no gain” is not a foolproof ideology because exercising too much can be counterproductive, especially if you’re exercising for general health and longevity.
A part of a balanced exercise routine is recovery – without it, your body will not fully recuperate and rebuild damaged muscles. If you are to perform high intensity exercises, bear in mind that recovery is a very important part of the equation.
Dr. Mercola says, “As intensity increases, frequency can be diminished.”
It is also a common mistake to over- or underestimate your ability and put your efforts in vain. To avoid this, you should always apply the principle of listening to your body when you work out. Do you feel that your workout is becoming less challenging? If yes, increase the intensity. Do you feel that your fitness regimen is too much? If yes, prioritize recovery time. Listening to your body should be a continuous approach. As you exercise, your level of fitness increases – so you need to apply changes as needed.
Having a “Certain” Fitness Buddy
Shape Magazine also recommends choosing a workout buddy with care. Having one can be quite inspiring, especially if the person is interested in exercising. However, if this person is a frequent no-show, then you’re better off having a personal trainer, says Dr. Mercola.
Having a personal trainer will demonstrate to you how to perform exercises properly, effectively, and safely. It may also serve as a motivation.
Check out more information on Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness Program.