Getting enough exercise is becoming a concern for almost everybody. Former couch potatoes begrudgingly spring to life with their gym memberships. And they’re not just empty New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re not an old pro or seasoned veteran of the gym world, though, you could be making some crucial mistakes during your workout.
Committing to hitting the weights or the treadmill might well be the start you need, but not if you don’t workout the right way. Without the right guidance, you may adopt the wrong approach. Do you know what that means? You risk getting red-faced, or worse, suffering an injury. Here are some of the more common errors you’re likely to commit, why they’re bad, and how to correct them.
It’s all well and good going out and getting the exercise you need, but it could all count for nothing if you don’t fuel your body in the right way. There are many mistakes that people make when it comes to poor dietary habits. Some of the highest concerns are sugary and processed foods, which will put your entire system under unnecessary stress. Make a conscious effort to cut out the junk, or you’re just wasting your time.
Likewise, regular gym-goers often make the mistake of consuming too much protein. Did you know that your body can only store so much protein? Exceeding that limit can actually lead to health problems, such as weight gain, kidney failure and dehydration. Aim for 0.8g of protein for every pound of body weight, and make sure to include sources of all the essential amino acids.
When you’re working out, you put your body through an awful lot of duress. You’re actually damaging the muscles in order for them to repair and, in turn, grow. This isn’t a problem in itself, but you need to make sure that you give your body the support it needs. You should never play around with your health, and thus, don’t skimp on gym equipment. If you’re going to be hitting the weights, make sure you’ve got proper back supports and braces to minimise the impact on your joints and muscles.
I’m sure we’ve all seen somebody at the gym with entirely terrible form. Adopting the wrong form can not only lead to serious injuries – such as muscle tears – but actually lessens your workout. Often, poor form leads to you relying on momentum in order to lift. This means that your muscles aren’t doing the brunt of the work, and you’re not going to see any significant results or gains. At least, not as quickly as you could.
The most important thing to remember when attending the gym is that it’s not a competition. Especially in the case of men, all that raging testosterone can lead to a competitive streak that does more harm than good. Take your time, don’t overexert yourself, and don’t feel ashamed for it. Everyone has their own pace, and exceeding that may just result in injuring yourself. Finally, remembering to take sufficient breaks and stay hydrated is paramount.