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Health and Fitness News

Fitness Faux Pas

Common fitness mistakes people make.

Everybody makes mistakes. Whether out of ignorance, faulty reasoning, or carelessness, people make mistakes in the way they approach exercise or how they carry it out. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from your mistakes and make necessary changes going forward.

Improve your performance, reach your goals, and see the results you desire by avoiding these five common fitness mistakes.

Mistake #1: Setting the Wrong Goals

You need clear, precise goals in mind. When you know what you’re working toward, how you’re going to get there, and when you will arrive, you’re more likely to stick with your fitness program. With vague goals in mind such as “get in shape” or “lose weight,” you never know when you truly reach your goals. So be specific when you set goals.

What are good goals? Plan to run your next 5K without slowing to walk or lose 10 pounds before your birthday. Specific goals help you stay motivated.

Secondly, don’t set unrealistic goals that are too hard or take too long to achieve. You may need to lose 50 pounds overall, but set goals to lose 5 or 10 at a time. Once you achieve these small goals, set another goal and keep moving forward!

Mistake #2: Having No Accountability

Who is keeping you accountable to reach your goals? Accountability plays a large role in exercise success. Ask a family member to check in on you, join an online fitness group, or meet a friend or your personal trainer when you exercise. Knowing someone is waiting for you at the gym will make it that much harder to skip your workout.

Mistake #3: Having No Variety in Your Routine

Are you stuck in a workout rut and do the same workout every time you exercise? Maybe you only do cardio and avoid weights and flexibility exercises. Perhaps you’re a person of habit and do the same routine every day. If this sounds like you, then you’re missing out on some valuable aspects of exercise. As a result, you may reach a weight-loss plateau or get bored of exercise and quit altogether. Plan to cross-train with a variety of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises for best results.

Mistake #4: Using Improper Form

Performing certain exercises using improper form can lead to injury or a lack of results. Work with your trainer or get advice from another reliable source about proper technique. Every type of exercise should be done using correct form but especially weight lifting or using weight machines.

Mistake #5: Pushing Yourself Too Hard

You’ve committed to exercise and are working hard to reach your fitness goals. The problem comes when you push yourself too hard. When you’re out of shape, over-exercising can lead to soreness, injury, and burnout. Too much exercise can also cause harm and a lack of results. Remember that your body needs a day or two of rest between intense workouts to repair damaged muscle tissue.

Mistake #6: Isolating Muscles

Don’t believe the lie that you can spot reduce a trouble spot. You may have flabby arms, but doing push-ups all day won’t make them toned and defined. You’ve got to lose the fat that’s hiding the muscle underneath. This is accomplished through diet and the right kind of exercise.

Exercises that only work a few muscle groups at a time (isolation exercises) won’t provide the results you’re looking for. You want to spend the majority of your workout doing compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups in one movement. Examples of compound exercises include deadlifts, squats, and pull ups.


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