There is no doubt that any exercise will help to improve your overall health and fitness but unfortunately many people make the same mistakes over and over again when working out in the gym. You need to train smart, remain focused and always maintain an end goal because if you don’t know where the journey ends, how do you know when you get there?
We will now take a look at some of the more common mistakes people make when working out in the gym and how these can be rectified.
Variety is the spice of life
While certain exercises and certain routines will benefit your health and fitness more than others, variety is certainly the spice of life when it comes to workouts. Doing the same monotonous exercises over and over again will eventually wear you down and you will become disillusioned. So, why not spice it up with some weight exercises, running, arms and legs and any other exercises you can think of. If you keep your mind active, and thinking of different things, as opposed to trudging along with the same exercises day after day, you will be surprised at the positivity this will create.
Don’t let results dominate your thinking
It is correct to say that you should always have an eye on your endgame, your eventual target, but do not let short-term results dominate your thinking. Many people who have successfully improved their health and fitness due to exercise routines in the gym will tell you that enjoying your gym time is vital. If each day becomes a simple case of ticking boxes and hitting targets, where is the fun in that? Yes, you may benefit in the short term from an improvement in your health and fitness but in the longer term it is difficult to stay motivated and enjoy your gym work if it is all about results.
Warm-ups and stretching
Let’s be honest, how many of us fail to warm up and stretch before we begin our gym work? The fact that all professional sports people warm up and stretch before a football match, gym routine or some kind of athletics event says it all. These are professionals, they know how to treat their body and ultimately they know how to avoid injury. We are not talking about excessive warm-ups and stretching but just enough to get your “motor running” and ensure that you are not cold when you begin your more strenuous exercise routines. It has been shown time and time again that beginning excessive exercise routines without warming up and stretching your muscles is a recipe for disaster and injuries.
You need to find a balance between enjoying your gym work, so you can continue on a long-term basis, and pushing yourself in the short term. It is fair to say that even relatively light exercises will help to improve your health and fitness but pushing yourself that little bit further, outside of your comfort zone, can give you the edge and help take your health and fitness to a new level. There may be certain exercises and certain routines which encourage you to push yourself although in a perfect world this should occur across the board with all exercises.
Stop following the crowd
Unfortunately for many people the world of health and fitness is one which is dominated by trends and, to a great extent, famous personalities. People will often copy the exercise routines of personalities that they look up to when very often what they were doing previously was extremely useful to their long-term health and fitness goals. The reality is that exercise fads come and go, while traditional well thought out and medically supported exercise routines will always be around. We are not suggesting you don’t try something different, something which might appeal to you or give you an edge, but if you find something which does work for you in terms of motivation and improvement in health and fitness, stick to it.
Eating after exercise
There is a common misconception among many people that you need to fill your body full of energy prior to beginning your exercises. In reality the best time to eat is between 20 minutes and one hour AFTER you have exercised. This is the routine that professional athletes use and for many of them it works a treat. There may be times when you do not necessarily feel like eating after a rigourous and tiring day at the gym, but it will benefit you and it will help to regulate your body.
Measuring success by sweat
Many people make the mistake of measuring progress by the amount of sweat they produce during a gym workout. Sweating is basically the body’s way of calibrating body temperature and while sweat does indicate exercise, which can only be helpful to your overall fitness, it is not a measurement of how successful your gym routine has been. Sometimes you need to work smart in order to reduce the amount you sweat as this will allow you to exercise for longer and ultimately benefit your overall fitness to a greater degree. You will also notice that as you regularly exercise certain parts of your body you will begin to sweat less because these areas have been strengthened and exercise is not as challenging on the muscles.
In reality any exercise will help your health and fitness but a relatively small number of tweaks can have a significant impact upon your overall results. It is also worth remembering that exercise is as much about mental strength as it is about physical strength and there is a necessity to vary your exercise routines so you do not become bored and lose focus. In order to know where you are going you need to have a destination, an end game, but results are not the be all and end all. Try to find a balance between exercises which you can maintain in the long term and “fun”, yes, exercise can be fun and it is not all serious.
While ultimately you will be judged on your results, enjoy your time in the gym!