Forgetting to stretch? Doing too much cardio? You’re making common fitness mistakes! Get the scoop on what to do- and what NOT to do- for optimal fitness.
Common Fitness Mistakes
Have you ever walked into a gym and thought, “Where do I start? What do I do?” Or have you ever planned to start a home training program, but had no idea where to even begin or how to do it right? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Before I became a personal trainer, I had no idea how to put together the most effective workout regimen and usually just ended up looking things up on the Internet. While it’s easy to find ways to workout online, if you’re not following a few simple fitness rules, you not only run the risk of injury, but you also may be sabotaging your progress.
So, whether you’re a fitness junkie or a weekend warrior, if you’re making these common fitness mistakes, you may be doing yourself more harm than good.
Skipping Your Warm Up
Warm-ups are a super important part of your workout and if you’re skipping them, you are doing your body a serious injustice. A good warm-up will prepare your body for the activity it’s about to do and make you less likely to injure yourself. It will get your heart pumping and your muscles moving so that you are not only less likely to injure yourself, but also more efficient during your workout. If your workout involves a lot of repetitive or strenuous movements focused on one area of body, make sure you include something in your warm-up that will actively engage those parts of the body. The more strenuous and specific of a workout that you plan to engage in, the more intense and specific your warm-up needs to be.
Sticking to the Same Routine
Variety is key if you want to be able to maintain your fitness level over time and continue to see progress. So, just like anything else in life, you’ve got to change it up so you don’t get board. Not only to you want to prevent yourself from getting bored, but when your body does the same repetitive motions over and over, you may see fewer results as your body gets too used to what you’re doing and doesn’t make the necessary adjustments that bring along change. So change it up and keep both your mind and your body happy!
Forgetting to Stretch
Stretching isn’t just for contortionists, gymnasts or Yoga buffs; it should be a daily part of everyone’s workout regardless of age or fitness goals. While you should reserve deep stretching for post workout, you shouldn’t skip stretching pre-workout, as dynamic or active stretching can help to improve your performance and keep you safe from injuries. Once your body has been through a vigorous workout, static stretching (the most common type of stretching) after you exercise helps to return your muscles to their optimal length, preventing injury, soreness and increasing flexibility.
Being a Cardio Junkie
Cardio is definitely important, but there’s way more to a good workout than spending an hour on the treadmill everyday. In fact, unless you’re training for a specific long distance or endurance event, you don’t even need to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill! You can actually get a much more effective workout by combining cardio and weight training. There are many exercises that involve both cardio and resistance elements that will give you the most bang for your workout buck and improve your fitness levels at the same time. Weight training, with light to medium resistance, is a super important part of any fitness regimen as it helps to keep your body strong, especially as you age.
Without a trainer by your side, working out may seem intimidating, but by avoiding a few simple fitness mistakes you can conquer the gym like a true fitness pro! So, warm-up, add variety, stretch and be sure to make time for weights and you’ll be on your way to reaching your health and fitness goals a lot sooner than you think!
If you liked this, check out 5 Reasons to Skip Your Cardio!
About Samantha Diane:
Samantha Diane is a certified personal trainer and health and wellness coach who aims to help people live healthier, happier lives through coaching, training and writing. She creates both in person and online fitness, motivation and accountability programs that help people become the best version of themselves.