Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar
You’ve finally made the commitment to exercise. But if you aren’t exercising correctly, you could be doing your body more harm than good. And according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), there are some top fitness mistakes that people – regardless of age or physical ability – tend to make repeatedly. Each one can cause stress and injury to the body. To get the most from your fitness program and keep your joints strong and injury-free, be sure to avoid these exercise mistakes.
The mistake: You skip the warm-up. It’s important for raising body temperature and increasing blood flow to loosen the muscles. When you don’t properly warm up, you risk injury and stiffer joints the day after, says Jessie Jones, PhD, professor of kinesiology and health promotion, California State University-Fullerton. A simple warm-up: March in place for five minutes.
The mistake: You never stretch. Stretching gives muscles a full range of motion. “Flexibility is key in preparing for aerobic activity, particularly when dealing with joint stiffness,” says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for ACE. The best stretch? Hamstring stretches. “When a hamstring is tight, it can cause misalignment in the pelvis and knees,” Bryant says.
The mistake: You forget to cool down. A proper cool-down, which includes deep breathing and long stretches, will get your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure safely back to normal while improving flexibility.
The mistake: You head straight for the heaviest dumbbells. Weight training increases energy and stamina, but be careful not to overdo it. “Lifting too much too soon is just going to damage the tissue,” Jones says. When weight training, you should feel fatigue by the 12th or 15th repetion