When it comes to exercising, if you’re not all in, you’re out. So, if you’re running at a slow pace (when you should be sprinting to challenge your body) or you’re lunging (without lunging as far as you should), then you’re really just cheating on yourself. Here’s some ways to avoid cheating during your workout—and as a result, make your body sexier than ever.
Don’t Use Fake Momentum
If you’re struggling to make it through another set of push-ups or sit-ups, it can be tempting to adjust your weight in order to get plough through. For example, if you’re trying to make it to 50 sit-ups, rather than continuing to contract your abdomen muscles to give you the power to lift yourself up, you may ‘cheat’ by lifting with your back. While your abs may appreciate the ‘break’, it’s your back that’s going to suffer most. Don’t cheat—it’s much better to take a short break, and resume your exercise by doing it the right way instead.
Don’t Skip Out Early on Your Cardio
Unless you were born to run (and depend on a good, old fashioned ‘runner’s high’ to get you through every day) or you’re a spin class instructor, cardio for many isn’t something they look forward to—especially if they are left to their own devices. A cardio class can always be fun, but if you’re running on the treadmill, climbing stairs on the Stairmaster or riding your heart out on the stationary bike, cardio can be pretty routine and unexciting.
One of the most common ways people cheat is by cutting their cardio short. Who’s going to tell on you if you run for 15 minutes instead of 30 today? No one. And, unfortunately that means there is no one to hold you accountable if you cheat. Give yourself a small reward for a week’s worth of cardio well done, such as a massage, or dinner out with your friends. After all, it’s a cardio plan you can stick to that will allow you to get those lean legs, toned arms or waistline to die for. And if you cheat on your cardio, you’re only cheating on yourself.
When you refuse to cheat on yourself during a workout, it’s important to give yourself a ‘cheat’ day—just as long as it doesn’t turn into a ‘cheat’ week! As long as you’re holding yourself accountable when working out during the week, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a margarita and fajitas on a Saturday night. You deserve it, and it could be the very momentum you need to go strong for another week.