10 Exercise Dos and Don’ts For Girls Who Want Results
Last year, I decided that I was going to dedicate myself to regular exercise. I was going to hit the gym at least three times a week, and I was going to get fitter.
I was motivated to stay fit. I wanted to lose some weight, not just for the sake of my health, but also so that I could actually do more things. I also wanted to look better.
The problem was that I soon found exercising to be very exhaustiving. After just a few sessions, I was ready to give up.
But then a fitness instructor at the gym took me to one side and gave me some great advice. She’d been watching me for a few days and told me that I’d been doing a few things wrong. She corrected some of my bad habits, and this gave me a terrific boost of confidence.
All in all, she convinced me to sick at it.
I’ve been going to the gym regularly for a year now, and I’m confident when I say that I know what it’s all about. And just like the fitness instructor saw me a year ago making mistakes, I see new gym members employing the same bad habits as I was.
If you’re new to exercising, here are a few do’s and don’ts that will enhance your enjoyment, while ensuring better results.
If you’ve ever been to a sports game – especially soccer – you’ll have noticed the players out n the arena at least 30 minutes before the start of a game. What are they doing? They’re warming up.
Warming up is super important for athletes because it warms up their cold muscles, which reduces the risk of serious injury during a game.
You should warm up before each workout session – and not just for two or three minutes. Your warmup should last for around fifteen minutes. Ignoring the warmup puts you at risk of tears and injuries which could potentially put you out of action for months.
Don’t Overindulge After Exercising
Lots of us miscalculate how many calories we have burned after a session, and therefore we overeat afterwards.
Thus, the exercise session was totally useless.
Be careful with what you eat after a punishing session, and always check the label of whatever it is you’re going to eat.
Bring A Bottle
I still laugh when I recall the first time I went to the gym. I was SO unprepared. Not only was I wearing unsuitable clothing, I also didn’t take a bottle with me.
You should always take a bottle to the gym with you. This could be a bottle of water or fruit juice. Why? Because when you exercise, you will dehydrate. And this can have damaging consequences, not least to your present workout session.
Basically, if you are dehydrated, you won’t be able to workout with any kind of intensity. Your session will be a bit of a dismal, pointless exercise.
Indeed, the only lesson you’ll learn is to bring a bottle next time!
Don’t Be Random
It’s important that you draw up a schedule. Otherwise, you might find it hard to exercise consistently.
If you hit the gym spontaneously, you might find that you go whole weeks without working out. Without a regular routine keeping you in check, it can be very hard to find gaps in your busy schedule to exercise.
When I first started exercising, I didn’t stretch at all. Stretching was something I did as a young girl at school. Surely nobody stretches anymore. Right?
Well, yes and no.
Some people don’t stretch – it’s true. But stretching is important.
Stretching improves your range of motion, enhances your flexibility, and prevents muscle strains and tightness.
Don’t ignore stretching, no matter how “old school” it might appear. Even the world’s top athletes stretch. Be like them.
Variety is the spice of the gym. But beginners are – naturally – a little too shy to add variety to their workout.
As newbies, we tend to play it safe and stick to one type of exercise.
This is understandable. I was the same. We don’t want to injure ourselves trying something ‘radical’, nor do we want to embarrass ourselves by failing at something new in front of everyone at the gym.
But if you just repeat the same trick over and over again, you will eventually stop seeing results. Your body will plateau.
Give your body a surprise. Mix things up. Keep your body on its toes by introducing variety.
Trying different exercises is also much more fun than doing the same thing all the time, and will keep you motivated.
Don’t Lift Too Much
Fortunately, I never had a superwoman complex when I started exercising. I didn’t lift too much in a bid to show off. In fact, I didn’t lift anything at all!
But a lot of women make the really common error of lifting weights that are totally inappropriate for them right now. Instead of starting out with something that is at their level, they jump the gun and lift heavier weights for quicker results.
But you have to remember that for exercise to be effective, you have to take incremental steps.
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Lifting heavier weights is a good challenge, but you need to be ready for them. If you are not, you could damage your muscles.
Some girls refuse to weigh themselves after exercise out of a fear they’ll be disheartened by the numbers.
But keeping regular tabs on your weight is important for better results. You need to track your progress to see how far you’ve come, how far you need to go – as well as what changes you could make to your exercise routine and diet if you’re not losing as much weight as you had planned.
Don’t Burn Out
Beginners burn out because they go for the all or nothing approach. But an early burn out could put you off exercising for life.
Gradually build up the intensity over a period of time. Take breaks between workouts. Don’t hit the gym everyday. Be patient. There is always time.
Finally, if motivation is a problem for you, it might be a good idea to reward yourself after a week or month of intense exercise.
A reward could be a new pair of shoes or a ‘cheat day’ in your diet plan.
Rewards give us the motivation to put our body through punishing exercise routines. Without a reward, you might find yourself asking “what’s the point?”