When it comes to living a happy, healthy, and balanced life, something to consider implementing is a certain amount of exercise. Whether it is going to the gym to lift weights, going for a run, cycling to and from work, incorporating yoga and stretches into your morning routine, or even just going for a gentle walk as often as possible, all of these forms of movement and exercise are extremely beneficial for both your mental, and physical health. However, like with anything in life, mistakes can be made when incorporating exercise into one’s life. Here are several of the top exercise mistakes to avoid if you want to reach your goals.
Expecting too much from yourself
Quite often when people decide to start incorporating some form of exercise into their lives, and especially if they have little to no experience in doing so, they will add far too much into their exercise plan and set unachievable expectations for themselves. While it can be good to challenge yourself, expecting too much from yourself at the beginning of starting something new is a mistake. Not only will you be a lot more likely to give up and not achieve what you set out to do, but you will likely be reluctant to try again after knocking your confidence and motivation. Instead of going all in at the beginning and overwhelming or tiring yourself out, a better approach would be to gradually incorporate small periods of exercise into your current day-to-day, or weekly routines. If you can be kind and patient with yourself, and incorporate exercise into your life at a slow and steady pace so that you can gradually build on it, you will be far more likely to reach your desired goals.
Not warming up or cooling down
Another mistake that people often make when adding exercise to their lifestyle is neglecting to warm up or cool-down, down before and after exercising. In a lot of cases, most people will just want to get straight into the main set of exercises, so that they can either get it over and done with or so that they can maximise the benefits of whatever form of exercise they have chosen to do. However, if you do not properly warm up and cool down you can leave yourself open to various forms of injury, as well as reducing the impact that the exercise you are doing has on your body. Injuries can last for days, weeks, months, and sometimes if you are unlucky, even years. Not only will injuring yourself be a painful and frustrating experience, but it will hinder any progress you could have been making, and potentially reverse many months of hard work to get to where you were. Warming up and cooling down, before and after exercise has also been shown to help improve the benefits your body will get from doing the exercise. So, for the sake of two to five minutes at the beginning and end of your exercise, think about including a warm-up and cool-down.
Having a poor sleep schedule
In life most things are connected, although some things are more obvious than others. When it comes to making mistakes that revolve around exercise, something that a lot of people will ignore is their sleep schedule. When it comes to exercise, the obvious connections are things like food and hydration, but actually, your sleep schedule plays a huge role in how well, or poorly you will perform and feel when it comes to exercise. That is why it is a mistake to disregard it, and to not pay attention to your sleep schedule. Everyone is different, so the amount of sleep that a person needs to function optimally will differ from person to person. However, on average it is advised that an adult get between seven to eight hours of sleep per night to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you can, you should try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. If you spend some time and energy on creating a good, healthy sleep schedule, you should notice a general improvement in most things in your day-to-day life, including your exercise goals.
Not adequately fueling your body
Although your relationship with food is an obvious factor to consider when you are setting yourself goals with exercise, it is still something that many people will trip up on. When exercising, it is of course a mistake if you do not fuel it correctly as you can wear yourself out, not see the results that you want, or even go the wrong way depending on whether you are trying to lose, or gain body mass, be it fat or muscle. Researching the proper food to eat, and at what time is a very important thing to consider if you want to get the most out of your exercise goals. Sometimes trying to get the right amount of nutrition, calories, carbs, minerals, or protein into your diet can be tricky, so, some people will shop at places such as AthleticStore to purchase additional supplements to help them achieve their nutritional intake goals.
Ignoring proper form when exercising
When it comes to actually exercising itself, a common mistake that many newcomers make, and sometimes even those with a lot of experience, is doing an exercise with incorrect form. Your form is how you position your body, hold an object, and move to perform a particular exercise. Quite often when it comes to exercising there is a right, safe, and beneficial way of performing certain moves. If you fail to register the importance of form, then eventually you could injure yourself over time, or even instantly if the move you are performing is unsafe. You may also not be getting the full potential out of the muscle group that you are targeting if you are doing the movement wrong. If you are unsure whether or not you are practising your exercise with the correct form, simply do some research online, ask other people around you to help give you some advice, or consider the help and support of a professional trainer who will be able to provide you with exercise tips.
Not staying consistent
If you are trying to improve with almost anything in life, consistency is extremely important and is a mistake to ignore. For example, if you have never run before, and decided that you want to be able to run 5 kilometres, you will need to regularly train your body and mind to be able to achieve this goal. If you decide to run for a few days and then do no more training for several weeks, the progress that you started to make will have all but gone. There can be a lot of things in life that will try to get in the way of keeping something consistent, but this is where your discipline needs to shine through. Sometimes you may feel too tired to do the exercise that you have planned, other times important things may pop up, or something out of your control may happen. It is at this point where you need to decide whether or not you will still squeeze in that little bit of exercise or not. Sometimes it will be impossible to do your exercise, and you will need to accept that missing a day every now and then will happen. However, you need to be able to segregate these occasions from when you are self-sabotaging, or trying to find excuses not to exercise.
Comparing yourself to others
With the rise of social media, fitness influencers are everywhere you look. In some aspects, this is a good thing as it can help to promote a healthy lifestyle and inspire others to achieve their fitness goals. However, at the same time, it can also be fairly damaging to constantly see, especially if the lifestyle of the influencer is a rare anomaly and unobtainable for most people. In these cases, it can be a mistake to follow others, especially if you find yourself focusing on their achievements more than your own. So, if you have social media and follow fitness influencers, or even other friends who are into fitness and exercise, and find yourself constantly comparing yourself to them, then following them is perhaps not beneficial anymore, and you should consider unfollowing them, or deleting your account until you can focus back on yourself.
Not allowing yourself to properly recover
Trying to achieve a specific goal in life can become addicting. This is no different when it comes to exercise, and you may find that you are trying to push yourself too hard at times, and not allowing yourself to recover. This is a mistake as you will eventually cause yourself an injury, or begin to reverse the progress that you have currently been making. Make sure that if you regularly exercise, that you allow your body to rest and recover.
There are a lot of mistakes to be made when it comes to exercising, so make sure you take these top tips on board and try to avoid them.
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