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Are You Making These Three Fitness Mistakes?


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Are you on a mission to get fit, get your health in check and embrace fitness? It’s something many of us want to implement as we set out our resolutions for the upcoming year, but, according to Shape, there are three common mistakes we need to avoid.

Fitness trainer Jen Widerstrom told Shape she sees the following three mistakes all the time when people are setting fitness goals – and unfortunately they can lead to us abandoning those goals almost immediately.


Mistake 1 – Treating Your Body Like the Enemy

Widerstrom told Shape this is a common mistake she sees and one we need to avoid.

“When you start a new fitness and nutrition plan, you’re asking your body to do a ton of new stuff,” Widerstrom shared. “Most of the time, you’re working out a ton, stressing a bunch, not eating as much as you usually do, and not sleeping enough. And because you’re working so hard, you can’t understand why you’re not seeing the results you want.”

Instead, Widerstrom recommends picking a goal that’s for you, treating your body like your anchor, and preparing yourself to “only take on what you can realistically commit energy toward.”

Mistake 2 – Using Social Media to Define Fitness Goals

“Social media has become a huge part of the fitness and health world,” Widerstrom shared with Shape. “But social media also not-so-subtly tells you what your body should look like. Before you know it, you’re doing certain workout programming because you want to look like the person who created it or copying the diet of a famous influencer for the same reason.”

“When you search for answers outside of yourself, you lose the power to make your own choices. Don’t look to social media to tell you what to do with your body,” Widerstrom says.

Mistake 3 – Choosing Goals That Don’t Make Sense For You Right Now

“Most people come at fitness goals thinking, ‘let’s just get this s— done’, and go all-in with fast and drastic changes” Widerstrom shared. “They’re on their best behavior for a few weeks, but it’s hard because their plan is so extreme. Eventually, they fall off the wagon. This is why the planning stage of goal-setting is so key. You need to understand the why and how behind the mission. That’s what will set you up for success.”

Widerstrom told Shape, the key is to look back at health and fitness goals over the past year and ask yourself ‘what went well and what didn’t?’ Then take a look at your schedule, your metabolism, and your natural/healthy weight – not your “high school” or “skinny jeans” weight!

Widerstrom recommends writing down one, or two goals that are truly for you and only you and then recognizing what steps you need to do to achieve those goals.

“As you work toward your goal, make sure you stop to smile and remember that you’re alive,” Widerstrom told Shape. “It might be hard to work toward your goals at times but embrace the difficulty. This is good.”

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