Page 1 of 2Both beginners and experienced exercises can be guilty of a few fitness blunders from time to time. Some may even become a regular part of your fitness routine, much like a bad habit. But, to get the best results from all your hard work, it’s important that you don’t find yourself creating a fitness routine filled with mistakes. This can set you up for injury, lack of results, boredom and plateaus. Analyze your fitness routine on a regular basis and ask yourself if you fall into any of these common blunders.
Blunder #1: Skipping the Warm Up, Cool Down, and Stretches
This is one of the most common bad habits of exercisers! You finally committed yourself to a fitness routine, and you don’t want to waste any time, so you jump right into your work out without warming up, cooling down, or stretching. After all, those low-intensity segments are meaningless and a waste of time, right?
NOT TRUE! Warming up, cooling down and stretching should be the foundation of your exercise program. They should be viewed as a transition into (and out of) exercise, allowing your body and mind to prepare for running, jumping, or strength training. Here is what you gain from proper warm-up, cool downs and stretching sessions:
Fix it Tip: Try to warm up with a low impact exercise for 5-10 minutes. A light sweat is a good indicator of your body temperature rising. Follow your workout with 5-10 minutes light exercise to cool down, and stretching, head to toe. Most of your flexibility benefits will come from your post-exercise stretch because your muscles will be so warm. To learn more about the differences between these workout components, read our Reference Guides to Warming Up, Cooling Down and Stretching.