While working out isn't complicated, it's very easy to make mistakes. Quite
often the mistakes are made due to a lack of proper technique training or simply
rushing to complete the workout.
Regardless of the reason for the errors, they can lead to injuries or at the very least be counter-productive to your fitness goals.
Of course it is very important to know specifically what to do in order to be successful at meeting your
fitness and health goals, but it is also essential that you understand what not to
do! So take note of the following common fitness mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Too much, too soon - Many new exercisers try to lose weight or tone up too quickly, by exercising too frequently or trying exercise programs that are too difficult for their fitness level. Be sure to
begin with an exercise plan that takes your current fitness regimen (or lack of
one) into account.
- Unrealistic goals - Despite what many advertisers would like you to believe, it's unrealistic to think you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days or that you can have
six-pack abs simply by doing 10 minutes of crunches a day. It's good to set goals but be sure they aren't too aggressive and realize it's okay to periodically re-define them.
- Over-exercising - If you start to feel overwhelmed, neglect important daily activities in order to workout or repeatedly get injured, then it might be due to exercising too frequently.
Realize the importance of balance and that more is not always better. Consider reducing the frequency of your workouts or the intensity of some of them and periodically resting for a few days or a week.
- Ignoring the advice of experts - It's always advisable to consult your physician before starting an exercise program. Working with a fitness professional is also a good idea so you can learn proper technique, the latest fitness information and learn how to avoid injuries.
- Failing to breathe properly - Sure, breathing is an involuntary bodily function
- something that most individuals tend to ignore. But, breathing correctly during fitness sessions is very important.
Incorrect breathing can lead to lack of oxygen and even faintness. When working out ensure that you don't breathe too shallowly and try to breathe through the nose and out the mouth.
- Choosing the wrong size - Selecting the proper weight size when strength training is
actually trickier then it sounds. Lifting weights that are too heavy for you can lead to improper form and ultimately to injuries. Use weights that are too light and the exercise session can be ineffective.
If you can, consult a certified fitness trainer to help determine the correct amount of weight for your size, strength, and
fitness goals. A trainer can also help you develop a plan for safely progressing forward on weight sizes.
- Becoming dehydrated - Drinking enough water on a daily basis is important. When you exercise you need to consume even more water. You should drink 16 ounces for every hour of exercise you complete. Plus you should try to consume 1-2 cups of water about 30 minutes before you begin working out.
- Eating too little - No, that's not a typo. Not eating enough can be as detrimental as eating too much. When the body is not fed consistently, it goes into a
calorie preservation mode.
Five to six smaller meals evenly spaced throughout the day helps keep metabolism running smoothly. Just be sure to control
the size of your portions.
- Socializing instead of working out - Just showing up at the gym is not going to help you get more fit.
Talking while leaning on a weight machine won't build muscles or boost your
fitness level. While it's important to enjoy your exercise time, make sure that the
primary focus is on working out!
- Concentrating too much on the scale - If you think the scale doesn't lie, consider this. Many professional athletes would be considered obese based on their weight alone.
Look at the bigger and more relevant picture. Keep a check on your body fat percentage, if possible.
Or you can track your measurements. Also don't underestimate the importance of improved physical and mental well-being.
About the author:
Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded
Workouts For You,
which provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for
each individual. Surf on over for a free sample workout and to sign-up for their
monthly fitness newsletter.
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