Everybody knows that getting out of the house and into the gym is half the battle when it comes to working out. There are so many different distractions around to pull focus away from the need to exercise that it’s a wonder anybody finds time. Yet, they do, because they know how much of an impact it has on their physical, emotional, and mental health.
If you haven’t been to the gym in years, the prospect is bound to be scary. But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of achievement that comes after a great workout. So, once you’ve caught the exercise bug, you’ll want to keep up with a regular routine. However, there are a few things that you need to remember if you want to avoid some common workout faux pas.
These handy hints and tips will stop you from falling into bad gym habits and help you to maximise the impact of your workouts.
- Cut Out That Gym Slouch
This is something that happens all the time in the gym and it is usually a product of inexperience. Yes, workouts can be hard – they’re supposed to test you. A twenty minute run on the treadmill is definitely going to wear you out, but you can only make the most out of all that amazing gym equipment by using it correctly. If you slouch onto the machines or lean your weight on them while working out, you’re only burning half the calories that you should.
- Forget the Static Stretches
Recent research has dispelled the myth that static stretching is the best kind of preparation for a heavy workout. It only stretches the muscles partway, instead of extending and stretching them through a full range of motions. While we’re used to the sight of long distance runners ‘hold stretching’ before a big event, they don’t rely on this alone. They also walk, jog, and run to get their muscles limber and active before they step it up a gear.
- Focus on Proper Form
For anybody who has spent even a little time at the gym or watching workout videos online, the word ‘form’ will be frustratingly familiar. All of this talk of perfect posture and holding moves in exactly the right way can sound fussy, but it is an essential part of working out. The first reason is one of safety. If you’re not lifting or handling equipment in the right way, you run the risk of injury. However, it’s also an important part of getting the most out of the physical effort that you put into a move.
- Keep Track of Progress
Very few people, and this includes long time gym goers, actually keep track of their progress or their ongoing workout schedules. This makes it hard not only to determine how much progress has been made, but also to keep tabs on what routines are the most effective. At the very least, keep a record of the weight you have lost if you’re trying to tone up and shed some pounds. That way, you’ll never find yourself fruitlessly wondering if all of the effort is worthwhile.
- Leave Lots of Time for Rest
This is the most important piece of advice of all. If you don’t give yourself plenty of time away from the gym, your body won’t get the opportunity it needs to recover. And, you simply won’t be able to perform at your best. Even if you don’t fall prey to niggling injuries, your stamina will suffer. So, take some time to put together a weekly gym schedule that makes room for play as well as hard work.