Gym newbies have been encouraged to avoid five common exercise mistakes in order to maintain motivation and stay fit this winter. Fitness experts from Vivotion.com have revealed the five most common mistakes that gym novices and running rookies make, while offering helpful advice to combat them.
Taking those first steps to fitness in new trainers can be daunting for some, but all workout beginners have been reassured that the usual beginners’ blunders can be avoided.
Here are the five common rookie errors identified by Vivotion.com and what budding fitness fans can do about them:
1. Poor Preparation.
Beginners don’t realise that a workout actually starts before entering the gym, by eating the right pre-exercise meal, getting fully hydrated and stepping into appropriate clothing.
Don’t eat anything full of fibre or too heavy to avoid feeling bloated, take a bottle of water and wear a loose shirt and shorts with appropriate trainers.
Location is also vital to ensuring a successful session; don’t choose somewhere that’s too busy, that could be distracting or that has disappointing facilities.
Vivotion.com top tip: “The key to preparation is warming up the muscles; this could be as simple as a brisk walk to the gym followed by some suitable stretches.”
Confidence is key to starting an exercise journey, but many first-time gym-goers and running rookies make the mistake of trying to do too much too soon.
It is necessary for novices to be realistic about their current with current abilities and limits and to know what their objectives in the short and long-term.
The best approach is to steadily build a foundation of fitness – remember every single session doesn’t need to be a personal best.
3. Unbalanced routines.
Failing to strike a balance between cardiovascular calorie burning and strength or weight training will not help achieve fitness goals.
It is normal to have a specific focus or objective, such as gaining arm strength or training for a race, but overall fitness can only be achieved by including the whole body in workout regimes.
Vivotion.com top tip: “Never skip leg day. It has become a cliché among exercise enthusiasts, but overlooking the lower body will eventually result in the double-whammy of looking stupid and getting hurt.”
4. Losing motivation.
The novelty will wear off naturally as with any new activity, but the only way to consistently uphold and improve fitness levels is to maintain motivation.
Do this by keeping music or podcast playlists vibrant and up to date, but definitely avoid off-putting books; the gym is for exercise, not story time.
Also accept that injuries can happen even with all the correct precautions; elite athletes, such as Olympic medallists, are susceptible to an occasional strained muscle – beginners will be too.
Though an obvious physical barrier in the short-term, an injury should not become a mental obstacle and discourage beginners from all that is good about getting active.
top tip: “Working out with a friend can be a great inspiration in the gym, as support or competition depending on the dynamic; both parties will benefit from mutual motivation.”
5. Neglecting recovery.
The warm-down after hitting the gym or pounding the pavements is crucial to getting the most out of exercise.
Inadequate rest and recovery between sessions could cause injuries, but that doesn’t mean an immediate lie down on the sofa post-workout.
Do some light stretches covering the whole body and gradually decrease movement to avoid stiffness later that day or the following morning; consider, for example, a walk to the shops.
top tip: “Warm-down by strolling around the local high street, as this can also provide the opportunity to rehydrate and refuel, which is pivotal to recovery and reaping long-term benefits.”