Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to support your health. It helps to strengthen your muscles and bones, reduces stress, boosts memory and promotes better sleep. Not only will you experience more energy and enhanced ability to participate in daily activities, but you'll also experience a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
The main thing is understanding what your goals for exercise are and coming up with a plan to achieve these goals. Although any movement is better than no movement, it’s important to ensure your workout is worthwhile. After all, if you're not exercising correctly, you may not benefit from exercise – or even worse, you may be putting yourself at risk of injury.
Here are six common mistakes you’re probably making during your exercising:
1. Pushing yourself too hard, too early
Most people think that if you don't get tired from exercising, don't feel stiff the next day, or don’t do high-intensity exercise, means that there is no progress or results. But sufficient rest is actually one of the very important parts of exercising. If you are doing high-intensity exercises every day and leaving your body without any time to repair itself, it can eventually lead to injury.
The following three exercise frequencies are recommended, according to your own physical conditions:
- People who do not exercise regularly: One day of light exercise, then resting for one day; followed by one day of exercise and another day of rest.
- Good physical condition: exercising for two days, then resting for one day; and repeat
- People who exercise regularly: exercising three to four days, then resting for one day; and repeat.
2. Sticking to the same workout
A lot of people think that sticking to the same workout will give the best results. However, this may not be true and in fact may be counterproductive and lead to burnout or injury. It is important to incorporate a variety of exercises to avoid physical strain. We need to compensate for injuries associated with sedentary lifestyle by providing different stimulation through the four basic pillars (strength training, resistance training, flexibility, and speed).
3. Start exercising without warming up
Many people do not have the habit of warming up before exercising. It is like jumping into exercise mode without awakening the muscles. Warming up primes your body for exercise and helps to prevent injury, skipped heartbeats and premature fatigue – especially if you’re performing high-intensity activities. It is recommended to have at least a 10-minute warm-up before starting your exercise.
4. Skipping strength training
Many people do not add any form of strength training into their exercise routine. However, adding strength training into your exercise is rather important. Not only does strength training helps build strong muscles and boost body metabolism, but it also helps maintain muscle tone. Resistance exercise and weightlifting increase strength and elasticity while also building strong connective tissues (think ligaments and tendons).
5. Thinking that sweating during exercise will help to lose weight
Water and electrolytes (mineral ions) are lost during physical activity or sweating; however, more sweat does not mean faster metabolism. Excessive sweating will lead to dehydration of the body, which not only fails to achieve the goal of exercising, but also puts the body in danger.
Therefore, it’s important to replenish lost calories and water after a workout. While sports drinks are a common choice that can replenish the depleted elements, some are laced with high amounts of sugar and you will gain back all the calories you have lost or even more. It is recommended to have a post-exercise meal and drink a full liter of water an hour or two after a workout.
6. Not prioritizing diet
The most important theory of losing weight is, it's 80% about eating properly and 20% about doing the right exercise. This shows that you cannot simply lose weight just by exercising, diet is the most important part of the equation.
Even if weight management is not your goal, there are countless health benefits to a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity. Having a healthy balanced diet accompanied by regular exercise not only helps to maintain physical and mental health. It is also associated with improved sleep and mood. Make sure to get enough protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fats in your daily intake to feed your body the proper nutrients it needs.
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