Avoid these top result-sabotaging mistakes

February 5, 2014

Committing yourself to regular sessions on your home fitness equipment, only to see very little results is, in a word, frustrating. Whether you’re walking or jogging on your home treadmill or pedaling away on that stationary bike, you may not see as much progress as you were hoping for in terms of better endurance, faster miles, weight loss or stronger leg muscles.

If you’re dining on well-balanced, nutritious meals in addition to working out regularly throughout the week to little or no avail, it might be time to examine not the time spent, but how you’re exercising.

While cardio machines like home elliptical machines are excellent options for getting fit within the comforts of your own home gym, there are mistakes you could be making on the equipment that you may not even realize. These could be sabotaging the overall session and limit how successful you’ll be at achieving your goals.

Cardio mistakes to avoid
Never mixing it up:
Getting stuck in a fitness rut can happen from time to time. Instead of trying to plan out each workout, you switch over to auto pilot and repeat the same routine or program for a week or even a month. Not only can this get incredibly boring, but it can lead to a fitness plateau. In order for your body to keep adapting and changing, it needs variety. If you have multiple pieces of cardio equipment in your home gym, be sure to use all of them throughout the week instead of sticking only to the fitness treadmill. If you’ve only got one machine, never fear. You can diversify your exercise routines by moving at different speeds, running or pedaling both forwards and backwards, and including intervals. Avoiding stagnant workouts will assure you’re in a better position to hit your goals.

Letting the machine do all the work: When you’re running on the treadmill or elliptical or riding the bike, are you holding onto the handles? If the answer is yes, you may be letting the machine do all of the hard work instead of your body. Setting the machine to a difficult resistance level doesn’t do much if its the equipment that’s holding you up. Instead, lower the setting and make yourself more powerful. Instead of walking or running while holding onto the treadmill’s handles, let go and pump your arms. This will increase your body heat and burn more calories. If you’re on an upright stationary bike, try standing up for a while or hovering over the handles instead of staying seated the whole time. It will add some excitement to your sessions and help you work harder so those goals are more within your reach.

Ignoring progress: You may not be where you want in terms of your fitness goals because you might not recognize progress and then challenge yourself accordingly. When a routine, exercise or resistance level becomes too easy, it’s time to increase the setting or create a more difficult program. If you can easily run a mile at a pace of 3.0 miles per hour on no incline, it’s time to speed up and raise the incline to at least one. Ignoring your progress will only ensure that you stay put. Pay attention to when your body needs a harder challenge and adjust accordingly to keep seeing progress.