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Men's Month - Celebration
Top 10 Mistakes People Make in the Gym
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Top 10 Mistakes People Make in the Gym The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Finding or making time to exercise is the first step toward improving your health, but it's not the only step. Workouts can be challenging and mistakes in the gym are common. At times, these mistakes can cause mild strains or more significant injuries. By changing small parts of your routine, you'll begin to see incredible results. ACE shares mistakes commonly made in the gym and offers tips to help you stay safe during workouts.
1. The all-or-nothing approach. Not having a full hour to exercise is no reason to skip your workout. Research shows that even 10 minutes of exercise can provide important health benefits.
2. Unbalanced strength-training programs. Most people tend to focus on certain muscles, because they have a greater impact on appearance or it is where they feel strongest. But to achieve a strong, balanced body, you have to train all the major muscle groups.
3. Bad form. The surest way to get injured in a gym is to use bad form. For example, using momentum to lift heavy weights, or not exercising through a full range of motion will produce less-than-optimal results.
4. Not progressing wisely. Exercising too much, too hard or too often is a common mistake, rest and gradual progression are important components of a safe and effective exercise program.
5. Not enough variety. Too many people find a routine or physical activity they like--and then never change it, leading to boredom, plateaus, or worse, injury or burnout.
6. Not adjusting machines to one's body size. It's up to you to adjust each machine to your body. Using improperly adjusted machines will lead to less-than-optimal results and increase your risk of injury.
7. Focusing on anything but your workout. The importance of being "mindful" of the task at hand cannot be over-stated, distraction can literally slow you down.
8. Not properly cooling down after your workout. Take a few minutes to lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles. This not only improves flexibility, but also helps prepare the body for your next workout.
9. Poor gym etiquette. This can range from simply being rude to poor hygiene and not wiping your sweat from machines once you're finished. Always be considerate of other exercisers.
10. Not setting realistic goals. Unrealistic and vaguely stated goals are among the leading causes of exercise dropout. The key is to establish a training goal that is specific and appropriate for your fitness and skill levels--something a bit challenging but not overly difficult.
For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.
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