Health, Fitness & Lifestyle Nigeria



Fitness trainers and coaches see people making the same mistakes over and over when they’re starting an exercise program. Probably the biggest mistake people make is setting unrealistic goals. They expect dramatic results and they get disappointed. If you’ve spent the last 10, 15, or even 20 years being out of shape, don’t expect to get back in shape overnight.

Here are some common mistakes that people make when they start a new exercise program:

1. Not drinking enough water –

Water is the magic elixir of the body. For most of us it is the only fluid we need to drink. Everyone should drink at least eight – 8 ounce glasses of water every day. If you’re over 200 pounds, you should drink at least 12.


2. Not warming up prior to any exercise activity –

Our muscles need time to adjust to the new demands we will be putting on them with an exercise program. Start with a few minutes of light aerobic exercise before you go into your exercise routine, whether it’s aerobics or strength training.

3. Not cooling down after any type of exercise –

Don’t just finish your workout and head for the showers. Take a few minutes to do some easy, slow exercises to lower your heart rate and stretch your muscles. Abruptly stopping strenuous exercise without lowering your heart rate can be very dangerous.

4. Not stretching enough –

You should stretch before and after any exercise activity. Flexible muscles will be less likely to be strained than if they are tight. As mentioned above, take a few minutes to warm up first.

5. Exercising too intently or not intently enough –

Don’t try to fit an entire week’s worth of exercise into one day on the weekend. Of course you want results, so you do have to push yourself some. You need to exercise intensely enough that you work up a little sweat if you’re working with weights. Actually, to make progress with strength training you need to work each muscle to failure – where you feel you can’t do any more of that particular exercise. If your doing aerobic exercise, get your heart beating within your training zone.

6. Lifting too much weight –

This is a more common mistake with men. We think that the heavier the weight we lift, the more progress we will make. This is a great way to guarantee an injury. Start with a weight you can handle and gradually increase the amount as your muscles adapt.

7. Jerking while lifting weights –

This often goes hand in hand with the previous mistake of lifting too much weight. You need to be able to control the weight you are lifting. If you are jerking the weight, you probably have too much weight and you are bound to pull some muscles or strain something.

8. Picking a program because it’s “in” –

Pick exercises that you can enjoy, not the ones that “everyone is doing”. You need to plan on exercising for the rest of your life. If you don’t pick something you like doing, you won’t stick with it.

If you watch out for these pitfalls, you will have a much better chance of developing an exercise program that works for you and that you can stick to. Take it slow and easy, enjoy yourself, and be persistent. The results will help to improve your quality of life immensely.

Patience Umoh
Questions and comments are welcome

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