Common Mistakes That People Make When Exercising
Exercising is good for you. We all know that, and for some, just putting on their gym clothes and getting there is half the battle over with. Exercising will reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and depression, as well as increasing your energy levels, which will help you think clearer and slow down the ageing process. Exercising and eating well, really are the two most important things that you can do in order to live a happy and healthy life.
However; all too often people make the same mistakes when they are working out, or directly after they have worked out that will hinder their exercise, weight loss and fitness. You might think that as long as you are at the gym, or working out in some way that you will see the benefits in no time, but there are some things that you can do that will actually hinder all the work that you have done.
Make sure you do not make the same mistakes that others do. Here are some of the common ones that you should be avoiding.
Not Warming Up:
Often, people will skip doing a warm-up as they feel that it is not that important to your workout; but this is actually one of the worst things that you can do, and it can lead to injury, particularly if you are doing high-intensity interval training or HIIT exercises. Although it is argued that if you are doing a low to moderate impact workout, you can get away without warming up, it is not really recommended. Get into the habit of warming up regardless of the type of workout you are doing, and soon it will become a habit.
Professional Kinesiologist and exercise physiologist, John Paul Catanzaro states that it takes 10-15 seconds of muscular contractions to raise your body temperature by one degrees Celsius, and a proper warm-up should raise the body temperature by between 1 and 2 degrees. So, although you should be doing enough to cause sweating, you do not have to do anything major in your warm up, and it will not impact your work out at all. Aerobic exercise is not only unnecessary but will also take a lot longer.
If you are stuck for ideas of what to do in your warm-up, here are just a few ideas of exercises that will get your blood pumping. With all of them, you should start off slow and shallow, and gradually increase speed and range with every repetition that you do. You should aim to do just five to ten reps per movement. These could include; squats, side bends, trunk twists, arm circles, or shoulder shrugs.
Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not actually always recommended. If you are focusing on strength training, stretching should actually be avoided, as it believed that it could actually cause joint instability, which will then impair your strength. However; if you are doing a high-intensity workout, which includes any sprinting exercises; stretching prior to this is an absolute must. If you do not stretch before this, it can easily, and more likely will lead to an injury.
Don’t waste time:
We are all guilty of this one, particularly if you go to the gym with a friend. Some see the gym, as a bit of a chance to catch up, or a bit of a social situation, and lose focus of why they are actually there. Remember, you are there to work out, whatever your reasons are for doing this. We have already said that sometimes, the hardest thing is to actually leave the house and step foot in the gym, so make sure you are making use of your time whilst you are there. Whether you stay for 30 minutes or an hour, it doesn’t matter, but only if you have worked hard during that time.
If you are guilty of doing this, more often than not, try enlisting the help of a personal trainer, who will ensure that you maximise the time you are at the gym, and help you to complete the most effective workout that you can. Alternatively, why not take yourself along to some classes, rather than doing a workout by yourself.
But equally, do not overdo it:
Exercising for too long, or too often can actually be doing you more harm than good, so it is important to find a healthy balance.
In order to maximise your workouts, you need to find the point that you are pushing your body hard enough to challenge your fitness, but also to give your body enough time to recover in between. This is particularly relevant and important when you are doing high-intensity workouts.
It takes 48 hours to fully recover from high-intensity exercise; however, for longer, slower exercises, this is obviously less time. The more intense the workout, the longer you need to give your body to recover. For this reason, it is not recommended that you do high-intensity workouts more than three times a week.
Although to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need to exercise regularly; if you exercise too much – more than your body can handle, it can actually deteriorate. So, listen to your body, and know when it’s time to cut back a bit. There are certain things that you can look out for, including; if exercise is leaving you feeling exhausted instead of energised; you are starting to get unwell frequently, or it takes you a lot of time to recover from something like a cold; you generally feel a bit down; you are unable to sleep, or you cannot get enough sleep; your legs feel heavy; you are very irritable and find yourself snapping at people; or you are regularly sore for days at a time.
So, how do you know when you have fully recovered from exercise? One expert says that you will know when you begin to feel like you have excess energy that you feel like you need to burn off by engaging in some type of physical activity.
Not getting enough sleep:
Some people like to sacrifice an hour of sleep, and go and exercise first thing in the morning, and whilst this works for some people, and exercising in the morning is actually a good idea, as it can give you more energy for the day, you should not be sacrificing your sleep in order to do so.
Remember that you can do an effective workout in a short amount of time, so you do not need to spend hours in the gym to make a difference. A high-intensity interval session will only require you to be in the gym for 20 minutes, sometimes less, two or three times a week, as opposed to doing longer, less intense sessions more times. However; if you feel like you are actually sacrificing sleep, maybe consider changing your workout to a more intense one, so you can get more shut-eye.
Remember that sleep is absolutely vital to good health, and not getting enough sleep can make it harder to shift excess weight, as well as contributing to a lot of health problems. That said, it is better to exercise in the morning if you can. Exercising late into the evening is not always advised, as it will increase your adrenaline levels, your heart rate, and your body temperature, all of which can keep you from falling asleep.
It really is about finding the best time for you though. Everyone is different, and what works for one person, might not necessarily work for another person.
Repeating the same workout all of the time:
If you are guilty of going to the gym at the same time, on the same day, and do the same thing, it is an almost guaranteed way for you to stop seeing results. Ok, so it doesn’t matter if you go at the same time on the same day, but repeating your workout can be really detrimental.
It is natural to stick at something, particularly if you are good at it, or you are getting better at it, but if you want to continue making progress and seeing changes to your body, you have to start switching up your workouts. This is because, if you keep doing something over and over, your body will become used to it, and start adapting to it, and you will find that you will plateau, and not see any progress or results.
Don’t overestimate your ability:
We all have our limits, and one of the biggest things that you can do that will seriously impact on your workout and not in a good way, is overestimate what you can do. Most people who visit the gym, are far too generous with the amount of exercise they can do, the intensity of it, the frequency of the workouts, and the amount that they can lift.
One of the easiest and best ways that you can track what you are doing, and you can actually start estimating and making realistic plans for future workouts is to keep an exercise log. Track how often you go to the gym, how long you stay, the exercises that you carried out and for how long, and how much weight you lifted.
Don’t forget the other life factors that have to come into your healthy living in order for you to see great results. You are unlikely to see any results at all, such as weight loss if you put in the hours at the gym, but then come home and do not change your diet at all. So, as well as not overestimating the amount that you can do at the gym, also do not overestimate what you can eat afterwards. It is all about finding a balance between healthy eating and exercise in order for you to see the maximum results.
Doing sit-ups in order to get washboard abs:
The truth is that no matter how much you crunch, or however many sit-ups that you do, it will get you the washboards abs that you have been promised these exercises will provide. Your muscles become sore when you have completed these exercises, which makes you think that you are doing good, and they are becoming stronger, when it is actually not making any difference at all, and in a few weeks ‘time, your belly will still look the same as it did all those weeks’ before.
The simple fact of the matter is that your abs were not designed to crunch, twist and bend, and everything that these exercises require you to do. They are actually designed to do the opposite and protect your midsection from doing all of these movements. You can put unnecessary pressure on your back, which can cause more harm than good, by repeatedly doing these movements and constantly straining and tiring the muscles. They can actually cause lower back injuries by forcing your spine to flex too much and do very little to strengthen them.
So what is the key to getting that sought after six pack then? The trick is very simple, and that is to burn off the stubborn layer of fat that is hiding them.
Expecting to see instant results:
This is something that happens an awful lot. People will eat healthily for a week, and go to the gym and work hard, and be disappointed when they haven’t got the body they are aiming for after this short amount of time.
Remember, it takes time and hard work to see the results you want; however, you need to stick to it. Unfortunately, many people give up too soon because they think that their exercise plan is not working but just keep in the back of your head that you will get out what you put in. If you are eating really healthily and working hard at the gym, you will see results in time.
Just like you should not overestimate your ability, don’t underestimate the time required to get the results you want.