The concept of exercise is not complicated. It involves movement of your body, or physical activity to expend energy and improve your health and fitness. However, what workouts really work and how, is a little more complex. In reality there’s a lot of new understanding about exercise that is both exciting and changing the way people keep fit. The problem though is that many people are still making the same old classic and common exercise errors.
In Part 1 we looked at some exercise errors which can not only hinder how you progress with your physical health and abilities but also increase your risk of injury. These included, not knowing your fitness status before you begin and hence not knowing what exercise pattern to follow; leading a non-active life away from the gym or exercise classes, so that you’re not getting the results you expect; beginners who blast off and jump in too fast expecting to be able to run before they can walk; not checking equipment, which can be dangerous; and not warming up, which can also put your body at risk. And there are more to add to this list too.
- Cardio not calories: Getting your body in shape is really about ensuring that your body’s functions are working well, that you are exercising the heart and other muscles and improving your flexibility and movement. It can also be about fat burn. However, too many people focus too heavily on a simple sum of calculating calories burned off during exercise. This can be too simplistic. Your diet can play a big part in what you are burning off, be it fat or using up stored glycogen. Focus on total body fitness rather than just calorie counting.
- Sticking to what you know: Humans are creatures of habit and many people don’t like the idea of change, but staying with the same old exercise routine can be a real mistake. Your body changes over time to start with so you need to adapt. Not only that, but if you have a goal in mind that you want to see progress this requires a changing exercise routine. Also, you might not be doing the best exercises for your health and fitness needs either. There are so many new ways of keeping in tip top condition, so don’t make the mistake of being an exercise bore or you may reach a fitness plateau.
- Water’s not enough!: Unless you are a full-on endurance athlete or a pro-athlete, you don’t need to worry about sipping electrolytes, energy or sports drinks. The reality is that many people just don’t drink enough water when they exercise. Think about hydration before, during and after a workout. Don’t over complicate what your body needs unless you’re working out for hours on end. Around 4-6 ounces for every 15 minutes or so of exercise is about right, but regular sips and glugs when you’re thirsty is often as scientific as you need to get.
- Cardio is enough!: Because cardiovascular exercise helps get the heart rate up and the blood pumping, as well as the fat burning, there’s a tendency for people to think cardio is enough. However, it’s important to balance your workout with some quality strength exercises too. This really complements the cardio and can also help inspire post-workout fat burn, where you burn calories long after you have stopped exercising. Your stamina and endurance levels are important in improving your fitness, while an exercise that promotes the mind-body connection can be beneficial to your stress levels and help guide how you work out too
- Not cooling down: For many people cooling down after a workout entails simply stopping. It’s easy to dismiss this part of your exercise regime as not worthwhile but it plays a vital role in helping your body recover from the workout and get to its pre-exercise level. This can help decrease the likelihood of you feeling sore the next day and also ensure that the heart returns to its normal rate while making sure that lactic acid doesn’t stay in the muscles, as well as blood. The circulation makes sure that oxygen and nutrients go to the muscles to help in the repair process after your exercise session.
Avoid mistakes by getting in touch with a fitness expert who can teach you how to train your body to respond and reveal results you’ve never thought possible. Don’t make the mistake of going it alone or without the right equipment and fitness environment.