Maybe you've seen those videos of people using gym equipment in questionable ways. Sure, it makes you laugh and wonder, but you could totally be making mistakes at the gym, too! There is a method to the madness that is exercise and when it's abused or ignored, injuries may result. Make sure you're being safe, efficient and smart every time you walk through the gym doors.
When you ignore a weak or injured area of the body, or brush something off as being "sore," you could be putting yourself at risk. If you're feeling any limits to your range of motion or function, you should listen to your body and rest. Active recovery is also acceptable. That's when you complete a very light workout at low intensity to keep the blood flowing as the body repairs itself.
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Skipping meals before a workout can set you up for disaster. Yes, there's the equation of calorie intake when you eat minus caloric output during exercise, but you need to fuel your body. Without proper fuel, your body won't be able to perform at its best even though you're asking it to. This is not to say you have to eat before every workout — some people really can't stomach it! Make sure you do eat a proper post-workout meal and throughout the day. Don't rely on shakes or meal replacements to get you through.
Trying to multitask while you're exercising almost defeats the purpose of exercising. Give your full attention to the workout. Make sure you know exactly what you're doing and what your next move is. Unless you're walking on the treadmill reading Skinny Mom posts, you really don't need the distraction. It can throw you off your game or be distracting to those around you. Imagine your negligence causing your own injury and putting you on the sidelines. Not fun. If you're going multitask, do it by bunching exercises together so you can get in and out faster!
When you mimic another person's form you better be darn sure they know what they're doing. People have the strangest ideas of what exercises are supposed to look like or how they're performed. Even if you think you're doing the exact same thing as Mike the muscle guy in the corner, you're probably still "off" a bit. Enough gets lots in translation. This is why it's so important for you to recognize good fitness instructors and trainers as well as learn how exercises are supposed to make you feel.
A-choo! And you're down for the count, but you still want to squeeze in that workout. Sorry, but no. If you're contagious, stay home. This is common sense and common courtesy for the general public. If you're sick, let your body rest. Take at least one day off and start back slowly when it's time. Instead, try to prevent yourself from getting sick by using good practice or at least be aware of the germiest places on the gym!
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