If you’re exercising regularly, you undoubtedly are noticing the benefits—better sleep and moods, maybe a few lost pounds. The last thing you want to do is derail your efforts or, worse, get yourself injured. Here are five of the most common exercise mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.
Skipping Your Warm-up and Cool-down
Solution: Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get a very effective workout for both muscular strength and cardiovascular health in only just 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals and/or decrease your rest time between sets. But find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.
Not Taking the Time to Recover Properly
Solution: Take 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch for two days after running for 30 minutes, but if you do an intense workout that includes heavy weights and running intervals, your body will thank you for taking two days (or more) off before doing that workout again.
Overestimating Your Fitness Level
Solution:When you are able to complete your intended repetitions and/or are no longer experiencing any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after your workouts, you may be ready to move on to a new challenge. This could be as small as adding 5 pounds to your deadlift or jogging for an extra five minutes. Which brings me to my next point…
Progressing Too Quickly
Solution: Use the 2 x 2 rule for resistance training. If you can do two more reps for two consecutive sessions at your planned weight, then it’s time to move up by either two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance and/or time should not be increased by more than 10 percent each week. For most people, increasing by increments of fewer than five minutes at a time for running, or 5 miles for biking is usually acceptable.
Using Equipment Incorrectly
Solution: Find a fitness professional in your facility to show you how to properly use the equipment and how to incorporate it into your training program.
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