HAWK ON HEALTH: Heather’s Top 5 Fitness Mistakes

With Heather Hawk, Healthy Planet Fitness Writer

Every fitness professional has their opinion of the most common fitness mistakes and the top keys to success with an exercise regimen. Throughout the next two columns, I’ll be sharing my personal lists. Let’s start with my thoughts on the top 5 fitness mistakes:

Initial Overload: If you’re starting a program for the first time or getting back into the swing of things after an extended absence, remember to take it slow.  Increasing the intensity of your workouts slowly will minimize the risk of serious injury, limit muscle soreness and increase your fitness level safely. Jumping into an intense program too quickly can lead to a fast burnout.

Avoiding Change: Many people will stay with the same exercise routine for months (and even years). After about 8-10 weeks your body becomes accustomed to your exercise routine. To encourage the body to continue to change you have to mix it up. Changing up your regimen forces the body to respond to the new activities and challenges the body to progress. Not only does change in activity motivate your body but it also motivates your mind and prevents boredom.

Afraid to Lift Heavy: It is a common myth that lifting heavy weights will automatically make you big. What many people don’t realize is that it takes enormous work to truly gain size. Challenging your body with heavy weights will help you gain lean muscle, shape, and definition. Remember, the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and crank up the weight.

Unrealistic Goals: If you haven’t exercised in months, then it is unrealistic to believe you can jump into a 5-day plan and stay committed. When setting your goals you must be realistic. Be honest with yourself about how much weight you can truly lose or how much time you actually have to exercise. Setting unrealistic expectations only sets you up for disappointment. It is better to start slow and gradually build on your routine. Small successes will keep you motivated to stay on track for your larger (long-term) goals.

Poor Food Choices: One of the most common mistakes people make is out-eating their activity level. If you are consuming significantly more calories (or the wrong types of calories) than your body needs then you will not see the results of your workout. Reaching your health and fitness goals is a constant balance of exercise and nutrition.

Got a fitness or health question?
Email Healther at info@hawkonhealth.com