Watching others working out is not a good way to guide your own program. There are many common fitness mistakes that you will see and many assumptions that are not correct.
Top ways to avoid Fitness Mistakes:
1) Don’t assume that your fitness program is in the best interest of your health. Your favorite athletic pursuit may not address all your health concerns. It doesn’t matter whether you are a long distance runner, a racquetball player, or a weightlifter, there are aspects of health that are not being addressed. Also doing the same fitness program over and over can put you at risk for overuse injuries.
2) The key to safety is technique. With all workouts and athletic endeavors, proper technique that decreases stress on your joints, tendons, and ligaments is a must. Whenever technique is sacrificed to reach a goal, you are putting yourself at risk of injury. Technique and safe movement patterns are absolutely at the top of the hierarchy for safety while exercising.
3) No pain, no gain. Our bodies have developed a complex system to relay pain and warn us when our body is at risk of failing. Too often athletes “tough it out” or continue to exercise assuming the pain will fix itself or just go away. There is a difference between “good” pain coming from muscle work and “bad” pain that indicates damage to your body. You must learn to know the difference. A burning sensation in the muscles during your workout is normal and should go away after you’re done. However, a sharp pain in the joint that continues for days and limits your ability to functional normally in your daily activities is one that must be addressed before permanent damage occurs.
4) If a little is good, then more is better. It’s amazing the amount of training that some people do. Too much training will have negative consequences on your body. This is especially true for busy people who try to take shortcuts in their recovery. If you are going to increase the amount of training that you are doing, you need to take extra measures (sleep, hydration, nutrition) to make sure that you are recovering. Proper recovery is the key to longevity in any fitness program.
5) If it hurts, I can just stretch it out. Currently, there are all types of websites, products and practitioners whose sole purpose is to improve people’s mobility. Too often I see people who believe their pain is from a mobility problem when it is actually a stability or volume problem. There is a certain amount of flexibility for any given sport, but more flexibility is not necessarily better. In fact there are situations where the problem will actually get worse with more stretching.
6) Be realistic about your goals. You need to be realistic about your current ability and what you are willing to invest to get where you want to go. How much are you really willing to invest to achieve your goals? Understand that there may be significant time, monetary, and physical sacrifices that need to be made to reach your goals.
Fitness pursuits add tremendously to peoples’ quality of life. However, you have to be smart about your approach to fitness and avoid some of these common mistakes. If your fitness program is causing you pain or if you have pain in general, contact us at Flex Physical Therapy.
If avoiding the above fitness mistakes aren’t enough to correct your pain, don’t worry! We have specialized programs in place to address the root cause of your pain. Call Flex Physical Therapy today for more information or to schedule an appointment at 1-800-930-8803.