You’ve committed to working out more regularly. You’ve even adjusted your schedule to make time for it. So why not also familiarize yourself with a few common mistakes that could derail your workout plans. Below is a list of eight mistakes that can negatively affect your fitness and prevent you from reaching your goals. The better you are at avoiding these pitfalls, the more chance you have to maximize your workouts and see positive results.
- Doing static stretches prior to warming up. Despite what you’ve learned in school, static stretching before a workout does more harm than not stretching at all. Stretching cold muscles may result in torn muscles. To be safe, warm-up for at least ten minutes prior to stretching.
- Working out too much. Whether your motivation is to lose weight or to run a marathon, it’s best to increase your routine’s intensity over time and not all at once. Likewise, working out more than 3-4 hours a day, every day without adequate recovery will rob you of energy and make you more susceptible to injury.
- Following an inconsistent workout routine. If you aren’t working out regularly, it will be difficult to achieve any level of on-going fitness. Perhaps 2-3 short workouts per day, three times per week is a workable solution. The goal is to stick to a consistent exercise plan until it becomes a habit.
- Not doing enough weight training. The most effective way to build strength and increase muscle mass is to lift weights. Lifting weights will increase your muscle mass, which burns calories and creates a leaner body.
- Not doing enough cardio conditioning. Anaerobic exercises build strength, but do nothing to replenish oxygen within your body. Great cardio conditioning means you can work harder and longer, which will increase your overall fitness.
- Doing the same workout routine. The human body is good at adapting to repetitive physical activity. If you goal is to continually improve, you will need to vary your exercise regime to avoid falling into an exercise rut.
- Poor hydration. Water intake is important to maintaining proper fitness. Without it, you body cannot send oxygenated blood to throughout your body in an efficient manner. Aim for drinking at least 64 oz per day.
- Not getting enough sleep. Rest is just as important to a work out as is physical exertion. Your body recovers best from exertion during sleep, which is also when the body is most effective at building muscle. Not only does lack of sleep negatively affect performance, it prevents the body from fully recovering.