The Hammonton Gazette
7 common fitness mistakes to avoid
It is important to follow appropriate guidance when pursuing fitness goals. However, with so much information available online, it can be challenging to sift through the advice and determine what is safe and effective and what is not.
Fitness enthusiasts may make certain mistakes along the way to achieving their goals. Recognizing which practices should be avoided can lower risk of injury and produce the desired results.
1. Skipping warm-up. Warm-ups are vital before a workout. They help muscles in the body become acclimated to exercise by gradually building up heart rate and muscle flexibility and endurance. A warm-up can include walking, biking or light repetitions of exercises.
2. Getting caught up in “low-fat” foods. It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes real, wholesome foods, according to Lucky 13 Fitness. Many people fill their carts with sugar-free desserts or fat-free items thinking this is healthy eating. When fat or sugar is removed, chemicals often replace these ingredients. Rather than embracing an extreme diet, focus on balance and moderation.
3. “Cheat days.” Some people operate under the assumption that the weekend or another less regimented day is an opportunity to let loose and stray from a diet and exercise regimen. This can be a mistake. A better approach is to find a routine that has enough balance so a person doesn’t feel like he or she needs to go off the rails to indulge.
4. Using the “I’m busy” excuse. There is no such thing as being too busy to exercise. Making exercise a necessary part of a daily routine requires finding time for fitness. Individuals may need to squeeze in exercise in the early morning before work or school. If exercise seems to be getting in the way of family time, engage in a group workout with the kids or your spouse.
5. Pushing too hard. Many people exercise under the assumption that “more is more.” Injuries can occur when one pushes too far in a workout, particularly if he or she is lifting more weight than his or her body can handle. It is essential to give the body some time off to recuperate. Rest helps to prevent injuries.
6. Making vague goals. Establishing fitness goals helps people reach markers that make it easy for them to gauge their success. Statements like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get stronger” make it hard to measure progress, as they lack specificity. It is much better to make firm goals, such as specific pounds to lose or being able to lift a certain amount of weight by a predetermined date.
7. Hopping from program to program. It’s tempting to try everything the gym or the fitness world has to offer. It is better to learn the basics and stick with a program for some time before moving on to another one; otherwise, you may never have enough time to master any routine.
These are just a few of the fitness mistakes to avoid as you begin a journey to improved health and wellness.