Here’s what you need to know to avoid common fitness mistakes and get the most out of your exercise routine.
- Don’t lift too much. Talk with one of our staff or personal trainers to ensure you’re lifting weights that are appropriate for you—otherwise you could injure your muscles. If you’re ready to challenge yourself, add weights gradually and always listen to your body.
- Do warm-up. Many folks tend to rush through a warm-up, either giving it minimal time or bypassing it altogether. But just like cold dough, cold muscles are as easy to work with (without risking tears) as warmed ones. Try walking and/or active stretching to prepare muscles for your workout.
- Don’t ’jerk around’. If a free weight is so heavy that you have to ‘jerk’ it up to get it to move, then you’re probably straining your muscles as well—and risking injury. Find a weight you can control with a smooth lift, this goes for weight machines as well.
- Do stretch more. Stretching improves range of motion and flexibility and can reduce the risk of muscle tightness and strain. Use active stretching during your warm up to loosen muscles, and end with additional static stretching right after your workout, while our muscles are still warm to get the most from it.
- Don’t lean on the machine. While you are doing your cardio on the stair-climber, elliptical, cross trainer, or treadmill you may be tempted to lean on the hand rails, but this may put undue stress on the wrists and back. Monitor your posture during exercise for the most effective results.
- Do bring a bottle. Always bring a bottle of water with you and drink from it regularly—before you feel thirsty.
- Don’t go overboard with food and drink. Unless your workout lasts for more than an hour and half, you shouldn’t need energy bars, gels or chews to fuel your workout. Also be wary of high-sugar, high-calorie sports drinks—always check the nutrition facts label.
- Do find ’just right’. Many people either work out too intensely (risking injury) or not intensely enough and wonder why they don’t see much result. Talk to me to help you define your fitness goals and create a fitness plan that’s right for you.