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Dos and Don'ts of a Successful Fitness Plan

Avoiding Common Fitness Pitfalls


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  • Thank you for sharing. Great information
  • Thanks for sharing.
  • I was always told to stretch before exercising. If not your body will tell you later.
  • I have fibro and I have to strech before I even get up. If I don't I can't move. These are slow stretches. Ever notice that cats and dogs stretch whenever they get up. Well, it works for me, I'll stick with it.
  • All great advice. I'm not sure if I am reading a different version than everyone else as my article does not mention stretching before exercise (it tells us to do a warm up and a cool down and to stretch afterwards - great advice). My article also does not mention anything about mini-meals as its focus is fitness, not nutrition. I'm a little confused by some of these comments, but I did enjoy the article and found that it contained some great reminders. Thanks for the useful information.
  • DENISE02124
    Good day.. I have restarted my exercise at the gym for 3 weeks now.. what I do is gradually add a few minutes for each week.. start at 10 min.. , 12 minutes, 14 mine (for each area of excercise for one hour). I alternate the routine each day I go, so I wont get bored too quickly.. So next week it will be 16 minutes of each area.. seems to be okey to me...I then go up to 30 minute for each area and then start over... this time I added dumb bell program... I find that I do a little warm up and stretching before I start for only a couple of minutes and that seems to release the tension in my joints... as for rewards I dont do a reward after because usually its dinner time after the gym thats my reward.. but before I go to the gym I eat a yogurt or fruit so I wont get to hungry..
  • Why is everyone commenting about stretching before working out, if you really read this article it tells you not to stretch before it says "do not forget to stretch after". The article tells you to warm up before working out that is different from stretching.
  • The article does not say to stretch before working out.
  • STITCHER0104
    I'm a physical therapist working in a bariatric clinic. I recommend spark people to my clients and was horrified to read an article that tells people to stretch before exercise. There is overwhelming research and literature out there that contradicts this, one of the leading ones is from the Mayo clinic. Exercise physiologists, trainers and coaches who have been in my clinic agree. Please correct this misinformation.
  • When I was a dance teacher, I arrived at the studio and just started stretching without any warm up and tore my hamstring. That was 30 years ago and I still feel it to this day. Warming up first, even if it is just a little moving around, is super important. Also I agree that the 5-6 mini meals doesn't work for everyone or anyone that has food addictions. Too may opportunities to overdo. What helps me is sticking to 4 planned meals of 400 calories.
  • I am a Senior, active my whole life; so have a few years experience with the stretching issue.
    Don't stretch before starting exercise. Fine; stop and stretch after you are warmed up but save the the real stretches for after your done as part of your cool down.
    And finally your not trying to be a pretzel. slow sustained stretches that are not uncomfortable work just fine. Skip the bouncy moves and ones that obviously are not in your reasonable range of motion.
  • I do not do well grazing, mini meals, whatever you want to call it.

    for me it turns into 5 full meals somehow

    I do far better eating 3 good, solid meals a day and maybe having some yogurt or something when I first get home from work.
    I agree with the previous poster. Several mini meals a day may work for some people but its not a "one size fits all" solution.

    I have maintained my weight loss for over 4 years now and sometimes I am really surprised by some the the do's and don't I find here.
  • I don't know that the advice about the several "mini meals" per day works for everyone. Grazing is a problem for me, particularly when I'm sitting at my desk and bored. And even if I packed 3-4 mini "meals" to cover the portion of time I'm at work, I'd eat 3/4 or it before noon for no other reason than it was there. Having a set breakfast, lunch and dinner time (averaging 500 calories each), with 1-2 optional snacks based on what I eat at meals, (or if my schedule calls for a late dinner) works far better. Plus, I don't have the time or the creativity to really plan out 5 different things to eat every day.

    Incidentally, I also find that I feel nauseous or have other problems if I eat anything an hour before a workout. The focus should be on hydration.

    On the issue of stretching before a workout; I think the idea is to do a warmup with moderate stretching before working out, just to get the muscles ready for exertopm. Deep stretching should generally only be done after a workout. I make an exception when I already feel exceptionally tight at the start of a workout; generally leg tightness from a prior day's workout or a stiff back and neck from sitting all day long.

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