We all know that exercise is important for our health, and hopefully you’re exercising at least several times per week. But as you focus on the things you should be doing, keep in mind that you might be making some of these common exercise mistakes.
You don’t plan for exercise. Sure, it’s better to do something than nothing at all, but making a long-term exercise plan will help you maximize your results. If you keep doing the same exercises for months on end, you will hit a fitness plateau. Instead, make a plan to gradually increase the duration or intensity of your activities.
You let your body become bored. As we’ve already mentioned, you can easily hit a fitness plateau that inhibits your overall progress. But you will actually burn fewer calories during the same exercise routine, as your body adjusts to the activity and becomes more proficient at it. No one is saying you should give up your 6 am run and switch to swimming every day, but your body will burn more calories and even become stronger if you break out of your routine once in a while. You will also have more fun as you try new activities, and you’re less likely to become bored by your routine.
You aren’t supporting yourself. You might have asked your partner for moral support, or expect the kids to pick up some slack around the house so that you have more time to exercise. But often while we look for support from other people, we forget to support ourselves! If you aren’t getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, or eating sufficient protein, you aren’t giving yourself the tools you need to stay healthy and succeed. Also, give yourself a day off to rest when you need it, treat yourself to a massage once in a while, and take the extra time to stretch before and after workouts. Don’t rush!
You aren’t paying attention. Exercise can be meditative, and it might be your “check out” time. But if you check out too much, you might not pay attention to what your body is doing! Poor form can lead to injuries, accidents, or lack of results due to inefficient movement. At best, you won’t get the results you want, and at worst you could hurt yourself. Be mindful of your movements, and make the necessary adjustments to stay healthy while you exercise. As you pay more attention to your body, you will probably learn that you’re able to push yourself a bit farther as you become stronger.