Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
4 Terrible Habits that May Be Killing Your Athletic Results
While exercising and trying to keep fit you make a lot of sacrifices and gain great rewards in return. You might lose a few favorite foods from your diet, or you might have some painful muscle cramps once in a while, but in the end a ripped, healthy body is always worth it. Did you know that even those among us who keep the most stellar fitness habits often do some grave fitness mistakes? I’m not speaking about Christmas fatty meals or a day off from the gym. Many people who consider their lifestyle healthy actually have habits that hinder their performance, their results and sometimes even shorten their lives. In this article we’ll point at a few of those habits many of us ignore as a threat.
How to spot a hidden bad habit?
When trying to stay healthy and keep a muscular, lean body, there are some clear cut things that you should not do. Eating too much, eating food with low nutritional value, skipping gym etc are all the obvious villains. It is extremely hard to find those things that hold you back, which aren’t as simple to see that they are bad for you. Here are some examples:
- Smocking. You will probably protest that everyone knows how dangerous smocking is nowadays, but it is the sad truth that people with healthy lifestyles often consider themselves above those dangers. There was a famous quote that went like this: “A mile for a (particular brand of cigarette)”. This created the illusion that if you exercise a lot you can smoke without any damage to your lungs and body in general. This quote is absolutely false and nobody can claim a healthy lifestyle while actually smocking, no matter how rarely. One cigarette is incomparably worse than a fatty hamburger.
- Drinking alcohol. It is something like a cultural must to drink a bit of alcohol now and then. This does not make it healthy in any occasion. While alcohol actually does lower blood pressure, its other effects are so dangerous that if a doctor actually prescribed it as medicine he’d be sued. Just think about it. Would you like to consume a medicine that actually: causes vomiting, dizziness, headaches, loss of control and dependency (among plenty of other things depending on how much you drink)? If you truly want to get at the pinnacle of a healthy lifestyle then you must cut the habit. There is more violence and death caused by alcohol than most illegal drugs combined.
- Nutritionally poor food. Advertisements have sold us the idea that certain foods are perfect for the healthy lifestyle; while magazines show us how bad other types of food are for us. While many of these facts might contain some truth in them, a balanced diet is never as clear cut as the typical skinny woman eating only fat-free yoghurt and bland cereals. Remember that food people eat to lose weight is not the ideal food for a normal weight athlete that wants to improve him or herself. If you survive on salads, yoghurts and muesli then you absolutely need to get some of that good old variety back. Typical “health” foods are usually very low in calories because they target heavy people; this is no good for a fit person. You need fat and protein to grow muscles and have energy.
- Over-exercising. Doing too much might actually be destroying the very muscles you try to strengthen. Muscles grow stronger only during rest, not exercise. So if there isn’t enough rest between fitness sessions you will only keep tearing muscles, without fixing them back up.
How to protect yourself
There are plenty of other bad habits lurking in the lives of health conscious people. One article would never be enough to cover them. The way to find out the mistakes in your lifestyle is to deeply consider all consequences of your actions. Remember that living a quite healthy life will not offer you “life coupons”. You can’t “earn”, let’s say, a smoke with a fitness session, or a drug habit with very careful eating. Be careful when you do something too much. Eating berries every day might not be as good as changing up with other fruits once in a while. Find a balance and allow variety into your life. A healthy lifestyle must keep your body in shape and your mind happy at the same time. Remember, true happiness does not come from excessive restriction, pain or from substance dependency. Real happiness comes from hard work and that is why the most important things in our lives are our achievements, our friends, our partners, our children and our dreams, not the comfort of a smoke or drink. Make sure your lifestyle aims at what is truly important to you.