Physical fitness plays a key role in preventing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart failure and arthritis. But, according to the Center for Disease Control, a meager 23 percent of Americans meet baseline aerobic and muscular health levels.
What’s more, physical fitness plays a key role in elevating self-esteem, as noted by the American Psychological Association.
There’s ample reason to shape up – though also many ways to hinder progress.
Whether aiming to boost your well-being or tone your physique, here are three reasons your workout might not be working out.
1. You’ve plateaued. Though it sounds counterintuitive, a good workout “damages” the muscle. By doing so, the muscle activates satellite cells that repair muscle fibers, fortifying them in the process.
Soreness after a workout is caused by microscopic tears. After about six weeks, the body adapts to your exercise regime. As a result, effectiveness lags. It’s important to change routines regularly.
2. You’re out of sync. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that syncs body functions to the world. Research indicates that muscle growth is tethered to a healthy sleep/wake cycle.
Additional to appropriate quantity – eight hours is recommended – quality matters. Drinking alcohol disrupts REM sleep, for example.
3. You’re not drinking enough water. In repairing muscle, the body uses glycogen, a source of energy. This molecule hitches its wagon to water. The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.7 liters of water per day, and men 3.7 liters.
Including these three considerations into a workout routine – along with a healthy diet – will make recovering from an intense workout a cinch. Plus, seeing results provides encouragement to keep going.