We all make mistakes when it comes to exercise! Since not doing the right thing can cause injury, strain or frustration, we have decided to list a few of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to working out.
1. Not stretching out. You should always stretch before and after exercise. It is a good idea to warm the muscles up a few minutes before you stretch. Flexible muscles are much less likely to be pulled than tighter ones.
2. Skipping the warm up portion of exercise. Just like stretching, muscles need to to adjust to the demands they are about to face. You should never just start running; it is always a good idea to walk for a few minutes prior to getting started with the run.
3. Skipping the cool down. When people are done exercising, they just want to finish their routine and skip the cool down. It is a good idea to lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles again so your flexibility improves. This will also help your body get ready for the next workout.
4. Pretending you are invincible when it comes to exercise, the Arnold complex. Lifting too much weight too quickly is the quickest way to injury yourself. Gradually increase your weight and this will prove to be a more effective and safer way to increase muscle strength.
5. Only exercising on the weekends. You should never try to fit a weeks worth of exercise into one weekend afternoon. For weight loss, it is more effective to do moderate exercises more often out of the week than to exercise intensely for a few minutes.
6. Forgetting to hydrate. Water is a necessity. Drink up before, during and after your exercise.
7. Working out on too high of an incline on a workout machine. You don’t want to have to hold on so tightly to the side rails of the treadmill or elliptical machine. It will be more effective to lower the intensity to the point where you can maintain a safe pace and good posture and only use the rails for balance.
8. Posing on the machines, instead of training. There are those people who come to the gym that look great, but are not breaking a sweat and are there to socialize instead of workout. Don’t become one of these people; sitting on the bike without moving really doesn’t burn calories.
9. Having the idea that more is better. The best way to train is to be in control of the weight, not to have the weight control you. If you jerk the weight, you are much more likely to injure yourself leading to strains. The muscles in the back are at high risk for injury.
10. Eating as if you are in a marathon. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. You need to make sure you are eating enough calories, but not too much. Be aware of liquid calories that you consume. Stick to water and protein and fiber rich meals.
Now that we know how to avoid making exercise mistakes, lets look at some ways to stay motivated and stick with the program.
Ten tricks to help you stick with your exercise routine.
1. Start looking at exercise like it’s a prescription. You don’t have to love exercising, but it is an important part of staying healthy. You also need to do it in order to lose weight. No miracles, if you have a condition that requires a medication daily, you take it daily. Your body does need exercise so give it what it needs.
2. Do some research. Find something fun to do at a local gym like taking a new class. If you have joint pain, consider acquatherapy or physical therapy. Look into your local community center, recreational center, or library for classes. You will be more apt to stick to an exercise program if you enjoy it and it’s not too advanced for any physical limitations you may have.
3. Change your routine. Your body becomes used to you doing the same exercise and becomes more efficient at it, which means you eventually burn fewer calories. Always do the treadmill, try the elliptical or bike. Walk outside daily, try going for a bike ride. Try a zumba class instead of step aerobics. You will also have less chance of boredom if you change your routine. Look into changing it up every 6-8 weeks.
4. Find a friend to exercise with. We all need someone to help push us every once in a while or to have us go that extra mile. Find a buddy, a neighbor or a personal trainer to help keep you on track.
5. Get in the groove. Listen to some great music to get you motivated. Every minute can seem like an eternity if you don’t have some good tunes to get you moving.
6. Participate in group exercises. Participating in group exercises can keep you motivated and help push you. Choose water exercises, spinning classes, or group exercises like zumba.
7. Know what makes you give up exercise. If going on vacation throws your exercise routine out the window and makes it difficult to get back on track, try incorporating exercise while you are away. If boredom is the issue, change your routine frequently. Buy some new exercise DVD’s. If you don’t have the time, keep the commitment of the number of days, just work out for the amount of time you can.
8. Make a schedule. You need to plan it like an appointment. If it’s not scheduled in, it is very easy to overlook it.
9. Use an exercise journal. Write down the exercises you do, how often, and how you felt. Monitor to see your improvements. Can you now walk a mile in 20 minutes versus 30 minutes. This is another great way to stay motivated. Take measurements of how many inches you are losing, this is important so you aren’t always focused on the number on the scale.
10. Stay active between workouts. Park your car farther away and walk as much as possible between your workouts. Always keep a pair of walking shoes in your car if the opportunity arises to add a few more steps to your day.