Starting an exercise routine provides many benefits including weight loss, increased muscle mass, lower blood pressure and an improved self image. Unfortunately, starting a good exercise routine isn't as easy as jumping on the treadmill and pushing start. Here are a few common mistakes made by new exercisers that are easy to avoid.
1. Too Much Too Soon. A lot of beginners are very motivated and start by working out way too much. Exercising is good and some think that more of a good thing is even better. For most things in life, this isn't true. When you're out of shape, your body can't handle a rigorous workout routine. If you keep it up, you'll soon feel tired, sore and might quit your routine all together. Starting at a lighter pace will allow your body to better cope with the change and increase the chance that you will stick to the new routine.
2. No Flexibility. Beginners should be placing a high priority on properly stretching, warming up and cooling down. Doing all three will help you perform better, decrease the amount of muscle soreness you feel and lower your risk of injury. Too many people don't do these simple tasks and wonder why they can't get out of bed the day after a workout.
3. Abs. The main goal of exercising is to look better and one of the best ways to look better is to have nice abs. Beginners sometimes focus too much time on doing sit ups, crunches and leg lifts while not realizing that it takes a well rounded routine to get a perfect six pack. In most cases, the main reason that abs don't show is because of a high body fat percentage which can't be fixed through sit ups alone.
4. Eating too Little. To lose weight you need to combine exercise with a calorie restricted diet. In an attempt to lose weight quickly, some beginners cut calories too drastically. Unfortunately, if you dip under 1,200 calories per day, your metabolism will slow down and you might not lose as much weight as you would hope. Avoid eating under 1,200 calories per day to avoid this problem.
5. Supplements. There are thousands of products available on the supplement market making it very difficult to differentiate between products that work and those that are simply marketing hype. While there are supplements that work, a large percentage of them make misleading claims and are a waste of money. As a beginner, you should avoid supplements until you do your research and understand how these products work.
The Bottom Line
Doing your research before starting an exercise routine will save you a lot of wasted time by avoiding some of the most common mistakes.