Three common exercise traps and how to avoid them

Many times when beginning to work with a new client, they comment that they feel ‘stuck’ in their fitness. They’ve been putting in effort, but not getting the results they wanted. Why? They’ve been side tracked looking in all the wrong places. Stay out of these three traps and get on your way to the health and fitness you want!

The Magic Pill

Ever heard the phrase, “It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be worth it?” We’re always on the lookout for the easier way, but it’s important to realize that it’s not about the next juice cleanse, 30-day diet book, or 15-minute miracle ab workout. Much like getting your finances in order, a little bit of effort on a regular basis will pay huge dividends in the long run. You need to understand what you’re doing and why its going to help you get closer to your goal. You need to eat better, and exercise regularly. Quick-fix solutions band-aid over your symptoms while distracting you from focusing on addressing your real underlying issues. Sure, your shake plan might help you lose weight over the next two months, but that only helps distract you from addressing the fact that you hit up the drive-thru on a regular basis. Work with someone who will help you identify the real issues and then help you evaluate and implement potential solutions.

Being Perfect

As a society we have this newfound obsession with being perfect. One missed day at the gym or bad decision at mealtime is a sign it’s not the right time or you’re just not cut out for this. In fact, missing a day or a healthy meal not a setback, it’s a learning opportunity. Maybe you’ll realize you need to pack your gym bag before you go to work, or that you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Whatever it is, this isn’t an on/off the wagon kind of conversation. This is an “are my actions taking me in the right direction” kind of conversation. Newsflash – none of us are perfect. Some just stick with it longer than others. Work with a coach who will help you learn these things about yourself and help you get set for success in the long term without losing motivation every time there’s a bump in the road.

Lack of Goals

Imagine a bunch of soccer players getting out on a field with a ball…and not having any teams…or nets…and just kicking the ball around for 90 minutes. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, does it? What are you trying to achieve? Why is it important to you? Having a goal is what’s going to help you keep your health and fitness a priority when life gets busy, and is even more important when starting your fitness journey. This can be as simple as “I’d like to fit into a size 10 again” or “I sit a lot at work so I’d like to be active 3x a week.” Once you can identify what it is you’d like to achieve, you’re in a much better position to evaluate your success. Remember there is no ‘right’ goal here. The important part is having a goal that is important to you, working towards it regularly, and not getting mired in discouragement when you have an off day.

Find a trainer, coach or community that can see these distractions for what they really are and you’ll be well on your way to discovering yourself as the fit person you’ve always wanted to be.

Alex Cibiri is a Mississauga fitness expert and owner of Element CrossFit.