15 Important fitness mistakes you need to avoid

Exercising is important if you want to be in good shape, we all know this, yet many of us will think of any excuse not to do it. What’s more, even those who do exercise don’t always do it right. There’s a veritable host of mistakes you can make in the gym and here they are, so you are better to be prepared to avoid them.

1. Some people avoid exercising because they think it will cause weight gain

Many people think: ‘You don’t do any physical exercise, lest you should eat more and gain weight’. Seriously, that’s perhaps the lamest excuse and it’s completely groundless. Exercise in fact reduces appetite, so you might want to rethink your excuses.

2. Gym slouch

Experts call it the ‘gym slouch’ and describe it as someone leaning into the equipment they’re using and ‘holding on for dear life’. First, this puts unnecessary strain on your back. Second, it makes the exercise activity less effective. Stand up straight when you work out.

3. Cardio is not enough

After the age of 30 many people start losing muscle tissue, so cardio workouts are not sufficient to maintain a good shape. You need a muscle-building regimen as well, to keep your metabolism healthy and fast, and avoid gaining weight.

4. Not drinking enough water 

Don’t exercise thirsty, get your fill a couple of hours before you start. The reason for this advice is that most cells in your body are made up predominantly of water. When you’re parched, they don’t function properly, it’s as simple as that. With improperly functioning cells, your workout will be significantly tougher.

5. Starvation 

Starving yourself in order to get better results from your exercise regimen is just as wrong, as letting yourself get parched. When you’re hungry, your metabolism slows down, as your body clings to precious protein and carbs. In the end, you’ll get the opposite of what you want, so eat up and then exercise, though not straight away, of course.

6. Reading books while exercising 

We’re sorry to bust your bubble but reading a book while working out is counterproductive. If you don’t focus on the exercising, you won’t be doing it effectively. So, however interesting that latest thriller is, get used to the thought that when you work out, you work out. You can read later.

7. Get pro help

If you’re just starting or if you’ve never had expert workout advice, get it. First, consulting a pro will help you make the most of your exercises. Second, it will help you minimise the risk of injuries. So, don’t overestimate yourself, train with a coach for a while.

8. Stretching before exercising is wrong

The picture of an exercise addict stretching before they start on the workout is a classic but it’s also wrong. If you stretch before you get on the exercise equipment of your choice, you actually increase the danger of pulling or tearing a muscle. Warm up without stretching.

9. Doing the same exercises over and over again won’t work

There’s no point in doing the same old exercise over and over again for years on end. Your body needs a comprehensive workout, so all its parts are in good shape. What’s the point of being able to run five miles if you can’t lift the smallest weight, because you lack the muscle mass? Diversify.

10. Forgetting about enjoyment

Your mental state is just as important as your knowledge of the right exercise techniques. If you hate working out, you won’t get out of it half of what you would if you enjoyed it. The good news is that there are so many varieties of physical exercise that you just need to find the one you think is fun.

11. Abs

If you’re dead set on getting the flattest stomach in the world before summer starts, you may be interested to know that sit-ups are not the way to success. That’s right. To get a flat stomach you need functional exercises, that is, ones that train all the muscles in your torso. These involve movements like lifting and throwing.

12. Not warming up before exercising

Whatever your exercise regimen, make sure you warm up well before you start. If you’re not warmed up properly, you won’t be able to do as many reps, because your body won’t be prepared for the exertion, plus your injury risk will be higher.

13.  Overdoing exercising and forgetting about resting your body

Trying to fit the amount of exercise you’d normally do in a year within a couple of months is not just wrong, it’s dangerous, because instead of strengthening your body you will exhaust it. Don’t get obsessed with working out, allow yourself sufficient rest.

14. Don’t under-do it neither 

So, what if it starts feeling like it’s too much? If you’ve had that consultation with a coach, you’d know what to do. Experts say it’s the body’s natural reaction to slow down and reduce the amount of effort put into exercise. Mind rules over matter, so tell your body to quit whining and do the reps, instead of going at half the pace over twice the time.

15. Realism beats optimism

Setting yourself realistic goals will help you avoid a lot of mistakes, mostly the problem with overdoing it, but also the problem with getting depressed and totally demotivated, because your weight is not going down at the rate you expected. Start slow and progress gradually, don’t try for a magic fix.

Stay happy and healthy!

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