Source: <em>Source: http://topnews.in/health/files/Smoking-while-drinking.jpg
The common wisdom is that if you’re getting off your couch and hauling butt over to the gym three times a week, you’ll either see a reduction in your fat levels or an increase in your muscle mass. This is true in a perfect world, but alas ours is a flawed one with flawed practices. In fact, even a minor flaw in your routine can negate your results altogether. Failing to stretch properly, warm up before you jump over to the heavy weights, or eat properly can result in disaster. In order to get the most out of your workouts, avoid the following habits.
1 Smoking and Drinking
Its long been known that smoking and drinking are bad for your general health, but they’re veritable saboteurs when it comes to your exercise program. If you spend an hour on the treadmill, you’ll have burn anywhere between 120-300 calories. If you follow that up with happy hour, you’ll have negated your losses after just two cocktails. Alcohol also lowers your testosterone levels, making it more difficult to build muscle mass.
Smoking affects your lungs, making it more difficult to run or perform any sort of sustained cardiovascular exercise. It also limits the amount of oxygen that can get to your muscles, thus decreasing the amount of work that they can perform.
If you’re serious about working out, quit both. Exercise actually produces hormones that make it significantly easier to quit smoking cold-turkey.
2 Failing to Eat
Most people, when they begin working out, have no idea what or when they should be eating. After a workout, your body is literally starved for fuel and will begin to break down muscle into glucose if it is not fed immediately. This can be catastrophically counter-productive for individuals who are looking to build muscle mass, and also very bad for individuals who need lean muscle tissue to help them burn calories and stave off fat. You should also have a light to medium sized meal 30 minutes to an hour before your workout so that you have sustained fuel throughout.
3 Lack of Sleep
Recent research has shown that a lack of sleep can affect every part of you; your physiological, neurological, and biological capacities are all diminished in a variety of ways. Sleep is also one of the three necessary components of muscle gain (the other two being proper nutrition and exercise). If you do not sleep, your body does not have time to recover from your exercise.
It won’t build muscle, and it won’t heal the muscle that you’ve damaged during your workout. This also has drastic consequences for those of us who only perform cardio. Your soreness doesn’t fade with time. It generally fades with adequate rest. Get at least seven hours a night, and avoid substances such as caffeine that may interfere with your circadian rhythm.