Working out doesn’t just mean being physically active for an hour or two, doing whatever in the meantime. It includes careful preparation and a well-thought training. But no matter how often or how intense the workout is, it still doesn’t mean it will be as effective as we expect. There are terrible workout mistakes that most people do, without knowing just how much they can harm our health and slow down the workout results. It’s time you became aware of them and start avoiding them.
No stretching and warming up
If you usually do low or medium-intensity workouts, you won’t be in any danger of getting an injury (most of the time) when skipping a proper warm-up, but think twice of you are planning to do a high-intensity workout, for example, sprinting. Warm-up only takes a few repetitions of certain movements in order to raise your body temperature and increase the blood flow. Movements such as squats, arm circles or side bend repeated about 10 times should be enough for doing an injury-free workout.
Regarding the stretching, it actually depends on the type of workout you’re about to do. For example, stretching before strength training could cause joint instability, so you should skip it in that case. On the other hand, it is absolutely necessary to stretch your muscles if you’re about to do high-intensity sprinting. You can find examples of proper stretching on the web.
Concentrating on one type of exercises
The saying that your body is as strong as your weakest part has some logic behind it. Focusing on a certain type of movements while excluding working on other body parts leads to the imbalance of your body strength. If you really don’t have time for various types of exercise, then the best option is to do high-intensity exercises that will build up most of your muscles, meaning it will benefit your whole body. What this type of exercise does is that it includes all your muscle fibers through intensity and speed.
Pushing your body to your limits
More of something doesn’t always mean better. There have been numerous studies showing that regular and frequent running increases our lifespan, but also that speeding up the tempo won’t make any difference. What’s more, high-intensity workouts can actually hurt our joints and cause the heart chambers to dilate. So, if you’re thinking of substituting intensive training with something else, try out isometrics, where the muscles are built through one body part opposed against another.
Our general problem is not enough intake of water throughout the day, but the need for water becomes even bigger during and after a workout. Our body is sweating a lot, so you have to keep it hydrated. Consequences of dehydration are not insignificant – they include cramps, overall fatigue, and irregular heartbeat, among other things. That’s why you need to keep a bottle of water close to you when working out, especially if the weather is hot and humid. Of course, there are good replacements for plain water, such as melon, cucumber, and celery, in case you get bored of hydrating your body just with water.
Too much talking
As much as it is motivating to have a chat with a friend who’s working out with you, keeping you from feeling all of the actual strain, it isn’t actually advisable. The reason behind this is that talk can decrease your metabolism, which lessens the effect of your workout. It also shifts your focus from keeping proper form (while doing squats, for example), which can lead to serious injuries. In short, proper breathing is an important part of training, and talking is what disrupts that process, so try to refrain from chatting with your training buddy.
Doing exercises properly is one of the essential factors influencing the workout results. Not paying attention to the form will not only decrease the positive effect but also cause an injury. Of course, it’s not an easy task because you need to be really focused on what you’re doing, but this way you will use every muscle as best as possible. For instance, squats are infamous for allegedly destroying your knees, but if your form is correct while doing them, it can actually build up the connective tissue.
Skipping the recovery of the muscles
Even if you’re trying to lose fat, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat after the workout, especially if you have just finished strength training. That is when you need to intake proteins within the next 30 minutes after the training. If it was a cardiovascular workout, you should eat whole food and vegetables that are full of carbohydrates, about 45 minutes after the training. The point in eating after an intensive workout is that your muscles’ ability to recover and grow bigger decreases if you don’t give them any food within one hour. Supplements such as whey protein and creatine are also a good idea if you do strenuous exercises. The reason why, for example, whey protein is good for your digestive tract after training is that it is easy to digest when most of the blood is in the muscles.