There are many things you shouldn't do before a workout, such as cold stretching (learn more prewrokout no-nos here). To make the most of your actual workout, here are a handful of things to avoid while getting your sweat on.
- Exercise on an empty stomach: Used as a common weight-loss technique, exercising on an empty stomach can actually prevent weight loss. Without fuel in your system, calories burned will come from muscle instead of fat. Eat before your sweat session and it'll provide energy for your workout, boost your metabolism, and studies show you'll consume fewer calories throughout the day.
- Gulp water: Preventing dehydration is a must, so do drink water throughout your workout, especially in the heat. Sip between about one to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Gulping down larger amounts of water at a time can not only cause stomach cramps, but could cause hyponatremia, also called water intoxication. Overhydrating can lead to low amounts of sodium in the body, causing dizziness, cramps, slurred speech, and nausea. Stick to drinking small amounts of water during regular workouts, and during intense workouts or those longer than an hour, sip on a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes.
Keep reading to find out three more things you shouldn't do during a workout.
- Repeat the same exact workout every time: Having a regular exercise routine is one way to ensure sticking to it, but it can also be a downfall. Doing the exact same workout, whether it be running every day or doing identical strength training moves in the exact same order, can not only be extremely boring, but more importantly, it increases the risk of repetitive stress injuries. Repetition can also lead to fitness or weight-loss plateaus. Be sure to mix up the types of cardio and strength training moves in your workouts, and aside from preventing injury, you'll also reap the benefits of a stronger overall body. For inspiration on mixing up your strength training workouts, check out our catalog of Class FitSugar 10-minute workouts.
- Exercise through pain or injury: Small aches and pains during a workout are fairly common, but experiencing something different or worse than normal is a red flag that something is wrong — don't ignore it. Take a break and lower the intensity for a few minutes to see if the ache dissipates, and if it does, go back to your workout. If the pain persists, throw in the towel and take a day to rest up and heal.
- Exercise through dizziness or nausea: Heat exhaustion, dehydration, water intoxication, and illness can cause symptoms, including feeling faint, upset stomach, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, and shakiness. Avoid pushing too hard during workouts, making sure to keep your health as the number one priority.