You know that exercise is essential for healthy living, but not every exercise is suited for every body. And doing the wrong workout could actually get in the way of you reaching your fitness goals.
But how do you know if you’re doing the wrong workout? These three red flags are a signal it’s time to switch up your activity and find the right workout for you.
Wrong workout sign No. 1: You don’t feel rejuvenated after your workout.
Exercise is supposed to make you feel better, thanks to the release of feel-good endorphins, say Kimberly and Katherine Corp, co-owners of Pilates on Fifth in New York City and ActivMotion™ Bar master trainer. So if you’re feeling down or overly exhausted after a workout, chances are it’s not the right workout for you. Great workouts should also inspire you to eat healthier, so if after exercising, you feel the need to get a double latte or cheeseburger, it’s probably not a match.
Wrong workout sign No. 2: You’re chronically achy the day after workouts.
Muscle soreness is one thing—and can actually feel good, as it lets you know you’ve worked hard and your body is changing for the better. But pain, especially if it restricts movement or makes daily activities challenging, is another. If you experience joint pain, neck stiffness or pain, or lower back pain after your workout, there’s a good chance that particular activity is doing more harm than good.
Wrong workout sign No. 3: You notice your body is changing for the worse.
Many of us exercise not just to feel better but to look better too. So if you notice that you’re moving further away from your goal after doing an activity, it could be a sign that it’s not the best match for your body type. For example, if you bulk up easily in your quadriceps, you may find that spinning won’t help you fit into your skinny jeans any faster. Or if you’re prone to poor posture, exercises that pull your shoulders forward (like free weights or swimming) might not suit your build. The best way to find what works best for your body? Try a variety of activities until you find one that makes you feel great—and helps you get closer to your goal. Finally, seek out activities you enjoy. The more you like what you’re doing, the more likely it is that you’ll stick with exercise for the long haul.