Top Exercise Mistakes You Can Avoid

by The American Council on Exercise

Plenty of people who exercise in health clubs don’t know how to use the equipment effectively or even safely. While there are many training errors, this list provides the most common mistakes people make during exercise at the gym according to a survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise. Are you making these exercise mistakes?

1. The all-or-nothing approach. Even if you don’t have all the time you’d like for your workout, research shows that just ten minutes of exercise can provide important health benefits. A little bit can add up over time, so just do what you can. See: How Much Exercise Do You Need?

2. Unbalanced strength training programs. Most people focus only on certain muscles (like the abdominals or biceps), but it’s important to work your whole body and core to achieve balance and health.

3. Poor Technique or form. Using incorrect form can lead to injury. Examples include: letting the knee extend beyond the toes during a lunge or squat; using momentum to lift heavy weights; not exercising through a full range of motion will produce less-than-optimal results. To learn proper form, it’s helpful to invest in a few sessions with a certified Personal Trainer

4. Inconsistent Progression. Exercising too hard and too often, or increasing intensity too quickly is a common mistake. Consistency and gradual progression are important for avoiding injury as well as for making improvements.

5. Lack of Cross training. Many people stick with a routine and then never change it. The same workout week after week will lose its effectiveness and may lead to boredom, injury or burnout.

6. Incorrect Machine Set-up. Exercise equipment is adjustable and it’s important that you set it up to fit you before you use it. If you don’t know how, ask a staff person. Using poorly adjusted equipment is a set-up for injury.

7. Skipping the Warm Up. Taking about 5-10 minutes to gradually increase your body temperature and heart rate has been shown to decrease your risk of injury. Try this great core strengthening warm up.
8. Poor gym etiquette. This can range from simple rudeness (lingering on machines) to extreme poor taste(bad body oder or not wiping your sweat from machines). Always be considerate of other exercisers.

9. Poor Goal Setting. Unrealistic or vague goals can contribute to exercise dropout. The key is to establish a training goal that is specific and appropriate for your fitness and skill levels. Try to define challenging but not impossible goals.

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Daily Exercise and Diet Tips – Measure Fitness

Cardio fitness and monitoring your heart rate is a great indication of fitness and any underlying medical problems, I’ve included instruction on how to measure your heart rate and chart for your fitness heart rate zone. Also weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.

Find your Heart Rate
1. Place your index and middle fingers directly under your ear, then slide your fingers down until they are directly under your jawbone, pressing lightly.
2. Place your index and middle fingers over the outside of your opposite wrist, just below the base of your thumb.

heart rate chart

heart rate chart

Heart Healthy Zone – This is a safe zone that can be reached by an easy walk. Best zone for beginners. This particular zone has been proven to decrease body fat, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Weight Management Zone – This zone provides the same benefits as the Heart Healthy Zone except that it is more intense and burns more calories. Can be reached by a fast walk or slow jog.

Aerobic Zone – This zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system and will also increase the size and strength of your heart. Attained by a brisk jog.

Anaerobic Zone – A high intensity zone. Achieved by a “burning” run. In this zone, exercise intensity can be used to build your heart/ling capacity and endurance.

Red-Line Zone – This zone is a running at full speed. Use caution when exercising at this level.

1. Find your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up. You can do this by counting your pulse for one minute while still in bed. You may average your heart rate over three mornings to obtain your average resting heart rate (RHR). Add the three readings together, and divide that number by three to get the RHR. For example,

(76 + 80 + 78) / 3= 78.
2. Find your maximum heart rate and heart rate reserve.

* Subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate (HRmax). For example, the HRmax for a 24-year-old would be

220 – 24 = 196.
* Subtract your RHR from your HRmax. This is your heart rate reserve (HRmaxRESERVE). For example,

HRmaxRESERVE = 196 – 78 = 118
3. Calculate the lower limit of your THR. Figure 60% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.6) and add your RHR to the answer. For example,

(118 * 0.6) + 78 = 149.
4. Calculate the upper limit of your THR. Figure 80% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.8) and add your RHR to the answer. For example,

(118 * 0.8) + 78 = 172.
5. Combine the values obtained in steps 3 and 4 and divide by the number 2. For example,

(149 + 172) / 2 = 161

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Daily Exercise and Diet Tips – Compound exercises

Compound exercises

Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone.

Using more muscle groups. . .

– means more calories burned during exercise.
– simulates real-world exercises and activities.
– allows you to get a full body workout faster.
– improves coordination, reaction time and balance.
– improves joint stability and improves muscle balance across a joint.
– decreases the risk of injury during sports.
– keeps your heart rate up and provides cardiovascular benefits.
– allows you to exercise longer with less muscle fatigue.
– allows you to lift heavier loads and build more strength.

Some great compound exercises include the ones below and much much more.

– Squat
– Lunge
– Lunge with a Twist
– One-Leg Squat-and-Reach
– Deadlift
– Kettlebell Swings
– Shoulder Press
– Pull Down
– Pull Ups
– Push Ups
– Chest Press
– Dips
– Jumping Rope

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Daily Exercise and Diet Tips – Green Tea

Green Tea May Burn an extra 80 calories per day

Clinical trials conducted by the University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham indicate that green tea raises metabolic rates, speeds up fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. In addition to caffeine, green tea contains catechin polyphenols that raise thermogenesis (the rate at which calories are burned), and hence increases energy expenditure.
Plus celebrities with great bikini bodies like Miranda Kerr and Demi Moore love the stuff!
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_and_health]

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Daily Exercise and Diet Tips

Stress Relief

What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running or huitting ther gym. Exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing a little to get the heart and mind pumping and make sure you enjoy the exercise.

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Daily Exercise and Diet Tips – Water

Drink plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages.

People will sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. So you can end up eating extra calories to quench your thirst when all you need is an ice-cold glass of water.

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