Exercise mistakes are not just reserved for beginners. Athletes and regular exercisers can also make errors that can slow down recovery, cause injury or pain, or interfere with weight loss goals. Exercise and sports have endless benefits for your body, mind, and overall health, but if you aren’t careful, you can cause more harm than help. Here are 6 common exercise mistakes that you or your workout buddy might be making on a daily basis!
Putting resting and relaxation low on the priority list
It sounds counterintuitive when your trainer is consistently challenging you, and you’re told to power through the difficult sets and not give up, but not giving your body the love that it needs, between those intense workout sessions, can cause you harm. Don’t give your body too much credit, allowing it to recover on its own, but instead, take a relaxing bath, use foam rollers, incorporate massage into your routine, and always remember to stretch. Give your muscles adequate rest between workouts and take care of your body so that you can continue to perform at your peak.
Jumping in too fast to something new
Even if your excitement is telling you to just try a new sport or exercise routine at full speed, it’s crucial to start slow, even if you think your body can take the change. Often, new muscles are utilized or different motions are required for a new routine, and your body just isn’t used to these new activities yet. Ease yourself into your new workout regimen or sport, and increase the intensity weekly or when your body is ready. Listen to your muscles and joints and respond accordingly. Going too fast can lead to injury that will set you back a lot more than a couple of weeks.
Leaving form and technique behind
It’s great that you can lift your goal weight two months earlier than planned, but if you’re not using the correct form or a healthy technique, you could be damaging your body. Many injuries occur from repeating motions with an incorrect form, and many individuals don’t even realize that they’re doing it! Using an incorrect technique not only harms your muscles and joints, but it can actually delay weight or strength goals, as you are not getting the ultimate impact on your body. Working with a trainer from Traveling Trainers can help with finding the correct way to run, lift weights, or even stretch.
Staying in your comfort zone
A routine is great, but variety is key! Varying your workout regimen will ensure that every muscle is impacted and that other muscles get the rest that they need. Not only will a new sport or new exercise moves help with your weight loss or strength-building goals, it will also be much more enjoyable at your 5 a.m. wake-up call. This doesn’t mean that you have to do something different every single day, but try to alternate a couple of different activities during the week to spice it up. While repetition is great for sports performance, it’s not ideal for weight loss, increasing strength, or progressing with your physical fitness regimen. Step out of your comfort zone to avoid plateaus and failure to meet goals.
Ignoring an injury
Neglecting an injury and hoping it will go away on its own will only make the injury worse, and it will also increase your recovery time. It’s hard to stay away from the gym when you’re in a groove, but taking a week away from the weight bench is much better than needing surgery and extended resting time. If you feel any sort of pain, aches, or discomfort that linger, let your body rest, and seek medical attention if necessary. Your muscles could be simply overworked or there could be a bigger underlying issue. If your regular routine of ice and anti-inflammatories isn’t doing the trick, don’t hesitate to see a chiropractor, physical therapist, or doctor for their professional opinion.
Overlooking nutritional intake
Even if your workout game is on point, not paying attention to what you eat is a huge mistake. A well-balanced diet is critical to achieving your goals and feeling energized enough to complete your workouts. Don’t skimp on the protein, veggies, and of course- water. Once you start paying attention to what you consume, it will become a regular part of your routine, just like your sets and reps. To help you be more aware of what you’re eating and drinking on a daily basis, and how many calories you are actually consuming, try to keep a nutritional diary, take photos of everything you eat, or use an app that will calculate all of the numbers for you.
If you are having trouble meeting your goals, have been plateauing and are feeling frustrated, or have been regularly dealing with injuries, reflect on your routine to ensure that you are giving your body the best chance at peak performance and optimal health. Any alteration that you make in your daily routine should be gradual and don’t be hesitant to ask for the professional opinion of your trainer or doctor.