You get involved in fitness activities to improve your health. However, all too often, that decision leads not to weight loss and better health, but to the doctor’s office. According to one insurance company, 50,000 people visited an emergency room in 2009 for injuries related to workout equipment or workout-related injuries. Those numbers have only increased over time. So, how do you prevent becoming a statistic yourself? The answer is to know some of the most common workout mistakes and avoid them.
Not Warming Up
Sure, you want to get in and get started. That leads to leaping right into a workout without properly warming up. There are quite a few reasons that you should make sure to warm up before any workout, whether you’re going for a jog or about to hit the mat in an MMA gym. One of the most important is that warming up helps stretch your ligaments and muscles, increasing blood flow and reducing the chance that you’ll pull something because you’re “cold”.
Not Getting Enough Rest
Yes, you want to push through your muscle pain and improve your performance and physical condition. There’s a huge temptation to “just keep going” and work out every day. After all, if you see benefits from three or five days of activity per week, how much more would you see if you really doubled down? The problem is that your body needs down time. It needs rest in order to heal and strengthen. Doing too much doesn’t speed up your results. It just overtaxes your muscles, bones and ligaments and leads to the potential for serious injuries.
Pushing Through the Pain
There’s a notion out there that you just have to push through the pain if you really want to see results. There’s a kernel of truth to that. You’ll be stiff and sore after you start a new regimen, and you’ll need to push through that stiffness. However, pushing through the pain can also be a bad thing. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that there’s something wrong, and if you ignore those signals and just keep going, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to injure yourself. Then, you’ll be out of the game for a long time while you heal, and all your gains will slowly erode. Know your body, and know what it’s trying to tell you to prevent pushing through pain that signals there’s a problem.
Not Using the Right Form
Exercise and improved fitness require that you do more than just keep moving. You need the right form at all times. Otherwise, you’re putting stress and strain on areas that shouldn’t be stressed. Not only will this limit the benefits you see from your workout, but there’s a significant chance that you’re going to injure yourself. Instead of going it alone or with a fitness DVD, you should work with a personal trainer or coach. You need someone who can look at your form and tell you how to correct it to prevent injury and maximize your potential.
Curving Your Spine
Keeping a neutral spine is crucial during many workouts, from Pilates to TRX straps. Too much curvature of the spine puts pressure on your lower back. This can lead to pain and injury, leaving you on the sidelines. Of course, learning to keep a neutral spine isn’t as simple as it might sound, and you’ll want professional guidance until you’ve mastered it.
The most important thing is to not go it alone. You really need to work with a professional, whether that’s in a one-on-one capacity or as part of a larger class. Get in touch today to learn more about our classes.