Whether you're starting from scratch or getting back on track, you undoubtedly have high hopes that your fitness regimen will succeed. However, you could fall prey to one of a handful of classic mistakes that can nip even the most well-intentioned plan in the bud. Here's how to avoid the top eight blunders:
1. OvertrainingThe Problem: A surprising number of sports injuries have one underlying cause: trying to do too much, too soon.
The Fix: There is no hurry. You haven't trained in a long time or maybe not ever, but you don't need to make up for lost time. Start slowly and listen to your body, which means don't lift weights that seem too heavy or stretch too far if you're not limber enough yet.
There's a difference, however, between being injured and being sore. Muscle soreness is to be expected after a workout, especially when you first start a fitness program.
2. InexperienceThe Problem: Inexperience in any activity can lessen its effectiveness, and can also be dangerous.
The Fix: Is this your first spin class, yoga class or first time in the gym? If you're not sure how something works, how long you should do it, or how often, you need to find out.
Read up on the subject, consult a trainer, or ask the staff at your gym. No one will criticize you for wanting to get the most out of your workout, and asking a question is a lot less painful than the injury you could suffer from not asking. I've written previously about the many websites that offer helpful instructional videos on how to do exercises correctly, such as the American Council on Exercise's (ACE) Kick Start Workout Guide, as well as their complete library of great exercise resources: acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-main/. If you want to add yoga to your routine, go to Yoga Journal's extensive library here: yogajournal.com/video/level/beginner/ .