It’s a road that most people want to take today, simply because they are realizing the value of good health and a fit body. But the road to fitness can be hazardous if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you don’t take the necessary precautions. So before you embark on your journey, here are a few fitness mistakes that you must be careful not to commit:
• Not warming up: Whether your workout is intense or laidback, you must warm up before you start. Your muscles and joints need to be stretched and warmed up so that they don’t tear or sustain other injuries. A few light stretches and a slow jog usually do the trick. Warm up slowly and steadily before you start to run or swim or life weights, and once you’re done, cool down with slow stretches so that you avoid the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles (this buildup is what causes the pains and aches you feel). Besides this, it’s important to wear the right gear and footwear and do exercises the right way so that you avoid injury.
• Biting off more than you can chew: Most of us are ambitious when we start exercising – we do much more than our bodies can sustain and our schedules can permit, and then we find it hard to keep going at the same pace. Very often, doing more than is possible in a sustainable manner is the reason for most people quitting their workout routines altogether. So start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and timing of your workout as the days go by – this way, you avoid both injury and burnout.
• Not varying your routine: Running may feel good, but when you do it day in and day out, you not only tend to become bored but you also risk injuring yourself. The repetitive stress caused by your feet pounding on the treadmill or pavement can cause problems. The same holds good for other forms of exercise as well – when it becomes repetitive, it starts to become disadvantageous to both body and mind. The best thing to do therefore is to vary your routine – run one day, swim the next, work out with weights the third, do upper body strength training the fourth, and so on. This form of working out is called cross training and it keeps all your muscles and joints strong and flexible and also minimizes injury and repetitive stress.
• Skipping your workout: You feel guilty the first few times it happens, but if it happens once too often, it becomes the norm rather than the anomaly. So as much as possible, avoid skipping workouts on the days you have them scheduled. The opposite is also true – you mustn’t work out without giving your body adequate time to rest and rejuvenate itself. In general, it’s best to train for five days a week and take the next two off.
• Not listening to your body: And finally, if you’re in any pain or discomfort, you must stop and consult a doctor immediately. Pushing on through the pain can bring on a host of complications, some of which could turn out to become chronic if you don’t listen to the signs your body is sending out. So exercise caution when you exercise, and reap the rewards of fitness and health.
This article is contributed by Susan White, who regularly writes on the subject of Radiology Technician Schools in New York. She invites your questions, comments at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.