06/04/2013 05:00 pm ET Updated Aug 04, 2013

5 Fitness Failures

There are many things that can get in the way of us reaching our health and fitness goals -- lack of time, injury, illness and even travelling for work can all hold us back. Sometimes we can control these things, sometimes we can't, that's life.

In this blog post I want to highlight five common fitness failures. They're failings I've made, my clients make, and I'm sure you've dropped the ball on a couple yourself -- but they are failings we can control, even if it might prove challenging.

1. You Don't Get Enough Sleep

If you want to work out hard and get the best results, your body needs rest, and lots of it. On a basic level, if you're feeling tired you're more likely to skip the gym. If you've had a good seven or eight hours of sleep, your body will run more smoothly, your mental state will improve and you'll be able to workout harder and more frequently.

2. Your Diet Is Horrible

Junk food is exactly what it claims to be, junk. What you put in your body directly affects how you feel and how you operate. If you put cheap gas in a car it's not going to run as well, as cleanly or for as long as it would if you chose a higher grade. It's just the same with your body. Avoid the junk and chose high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods. Of course enjoy your life and indulge in the things you enjoy from time to time, but make smart decisions and be honest with yourself about your choices.

3. You Don't Make Time for Exercise

Like anything in life, if you don't make time for it then it's very unlikely to happen. I recommend that my clients develop a realistic plan to keep them accountable for their training. Put workouts in your calendar the same way you'd schedule a haircut or a trip to the dentist. If it's in your calendar, you're less likely to skip and more likely to get into a consistent regimen.

4. You Do Low-Intensity Cardio

Doing something is definitely better than doing nothing, but if you're looking for improved results then you're going to have to up the intensity of your cardio. If you do the same old workout over and over, your body will very quickly become conditioned to it and your results will dip. You should be tired, you should be sweaty, you should be out of breath. Do a bit more and do it a bit harder.

5. You Don't Hit the Weights

I firmly believe that strength training is an important part of any fitness regimen. Show me an athlete that doesn't hit the weight room from time to time. Lifting, pushing and pulling things help keep our muscles strong. If you run but don't do any weight training, you may have strong legs but I bet your pushups could use some work. A good combination of cardio and weight training will lead to a more balanced, stronger body.

Being in great shape isn't just about the exercise itself, it's about preparation, planning, mental strength, focus and discipline. Concentrate on making a few simple changes and you're likely to see sustainable results.

-- Jamie Galloway

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