If you’re looking to incorporate more exercise into your life but don’t want to end up injured or miserable, take a little advice from Ariana Grande’s personal trainer, Harley Pasternak: Skip these four very common mistakes, and kick off your exercise journey the right away.
We recently met with the Toronto native (who has also trained the likes of Rihanna, Megan Fox, and Katy Perry), at an event in Hong Kong celebrating Grande’s new partnership with Reebok (where he made us do approximately 1 million lunges across a public soccer field, preventing us from walking properly for the next two days — thanks, Harley!).
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He explained to HG that he sees exercise noobs make the same mistakes over and over again, to the detriment of their health, and he has suggestions for how to make things right.
So what are we doing wrong? And how can we work out smarter?
The number one mistake we’re all guilty of making, says Pasternak, is doing too much too quickly. For example, someone might decide they want to run a marathon, but instead of building up to that level of fitness, they jump headlong into “CrossFit and become a raw vegan,” Pasternak explained. “If you don’t get hurt, you’re just going to get sick of it. One of the two.”
The next biggest mistake? Making the end goal your primary goal. “So if they want to lose 20 pounds, they think about that 20 pounds. Whereas that’s really the byproduct of your goal,” he said. “Your goal should be 12,000 steps a day — that’s your goal. As a byproduct of that, you’re going to lose the weight.”
The third mistake he sees is using exercise to compensate for an unhealthy diet. “No amount of cardio in the world can make up for a bad diet,” he said. So start by falling in love with your kitchen again, and preparing simple-but-healthy recipes on the daily. Your body will thank you.
The final mistake Pasternak shared came as bit of a surprise, and we apologize in advance to all you hot yoga diehards out there. The fourth mistake is working out in a heated environment.
See? We told you you’d be shocked!
Said Pasternak, “Science tells us that by exercising in a cold environment, you actually burn more calories and more fat.”
Pasternak also explained that instead of “cheat days,” he wishes exercise newbies (and even veterans!) would give themselves “cheat meals” instead.
“Let’s say you have your kid’s birthday party on a Wednesday night, and you have your family in town to go for brunch on Sunday—you gotta pick [between them],” he said. “But if it’s two free meals a week, you can do both.”
Birthday cake and waffles in one week? Sign us up! And oh yeah, we’ll have that Khloé Kardashian-approved rainbow fruit smoothie, too. Who knew living better could be so easy?