Avoiding mistakes that can lead to injury is essential if you want to fully benefit from, and enjoy, your workouts. Injuries slow you down and may even derail you long enough to undo any of the progress you’ve already made! Who wants that?
Here are 7 common exercise mistakes that even seasoned veterans can make:
1. Sticking with what you know
When you vary your activities, you give your muscles a chance to rest and recover, while still remaining active. Don’t get stuck in a workout rut and perform the same routine over and over again. You will not get the results you desire and you run the risk of an overuse injury. Try a workout routine that shifts focus and doesn’t concentrate on the same movements, every day.
2. Ignoring an injury
It may be tempting to keep going, or push yourself through the pain but ignoring your injury could be disastrous. Injuries never happen at a good time, but just ignoring them is pretty good insurance that you will get injured again, and the next time it is usually much worse. Give yourself time to recover! It isn’t a bad idea to seek some medical advice, as well. Sometimes, rest isn’t enough.
3. Thinking your workout is the only time you should be moving
A recent study showed that prolonged sitting can lead to heart disease even in people who are active. So get moving and grooving. Take the stairs, stand up and walk every hour if you have a desk job (go talk to someone instead of calling or emailing them) go for a walk in the evening – get creative! Your body will be thankful for it!
4. Expecting sudden changes
Here’s the typical expectation: “I worked out once. Where are my abs and sculpted muscles?” Unfortunately changes don’t happen like that. It takes about 1 month before your body even understands what’s going on and starts to adapt. But along the way you are learning, growing and understanding how to listen to your body.
5. Not eating well
Diet plays an important role in achieving results. It is important to make sure you are eating a whole, clean, balanced diet that is made up of protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. And don’t forget to keep hydrated. If you focus on these elements throughout the day, your workouts will be enhanced.
6. Jumping straight into the workout
The first 5 min of your workout are for getting your mind and body ready for the task at hand and are also super important to avoid injury! Start with running on the spot and a few other light cardio exercises to get the blood flowing. After the workout don’t forget to stretch. It not only helps with the post workout soreness but helps you work on flexibility, which is super important to maintain as you get older.
7. Exercising too much
Overtraining can be a nightmare for your muscles, joints, and hormone levels. Overdoing it can actually undo all you hope to accomplish. If you do too much, for too long, you run the risk of thinning bones and weakening muscles. Once again, be sure to allow your body time to rest and recover. Make your rest days every bit as important as your work days.