Fitness Articles

Common Fitness Blunders - Part 1

Even Experienced Exercisers Can Be Guilty of These

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Blunder #2: Looking For Instant Gratification

We are a culture of instant gratification seekers! Expecting fast results from a new diet and fitness plan is very common. Unfortunately it is one of the worst mindsets a beginner can create. You know about all the great benefits of exercise, like increased energy, weight loss, and better health. You exercise for a week straight, wake up the following Monday completely wiped out, a couple pounds heavier (because the exercise made you so hungry), and you have a cold. What gives?

Exercise definitely provides many great benefits, but the results are often seen weeks or even months after you begin. When you are consistent:
  • Your metabolism speeds up to allow for weight loss
  • Your body will adjust to the stress of exercise and you’ll feel more rejuvenated
  • Your immune system improves to help prevent sickness
  • Your strength and endurance improves, making exercise (and daily tasks) easier
  • Your mood and energy levels stabilize throughout the day
  • You sleep better at night
  • You look and feel better!
Fix it Tips: Don’t throw up your hands if you don’t see what you are looking for. Analyze what you are doing and try to make adjustments. It’s worth it.
  • Try to focus on other improvement besides weight loss--how you feel, how much you’ve learned, how you have more energy, etc.
  • Keep in mind that progress may be slow in the beginning. It probably took you many years to gain the weight you are trying to lose. You can’t expect to take it off in a fraction of the time. Plus, slow and steady weight loss (about 1-2 pounds per week) is healthier--AND you’re more likely to keep it off when it happens at this rate.
  • Get support and encouragement from a buddy, your friends and family, or on the message boards. Sometimes a kind word is all you need to stop you from giving up.
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About The Author

Joe Downie Joe Downie
Joe, an exercise enthusiast, is a certified physical fitness instructor and high school soccer coach.

Member Comments

  • Great article. My hubby always tell me that I should stretch. But I don't listen. But I guess I need to read this. I am guilty. So I will do stretching after my exercise. - 12/2/2013 10:48:47 AM
  • I have always been a committed stretcher but somehow lately it has been getting lost in the shuffle. This is a good reminder to me to get back to it so I don't lose my flexibility. - 5/18/2013 10:15:32 PM
  • Good article. I used to use stretches in rapid repetition more as a warm up. But with what I've been reading recently, these are only to be used afterward. Guess I've been doing it all wrong for years. At 52, I only put on the weight in the last three years. - 4/11/2013 6:28:22 AM
  • I am 62 and work out at least an hour and a half 90% of the month, with a warm up at the start and 10 minute total body stretch routine at the end. It helps with my balance, flexibility. - 4/10/2013 12:51:37 PM
  • PUGGLEMONKEY
    Good info. I'm amazed at the number of exercise videos out there that seem to skip the stretching and warm-up at the beginning or the end. I've also run across a few strength training videos that have you racing through the moves in a way that I am sure is not healthy or safe for the joints. Buyer beware. As someone who has to do low impact and be careful with my joints, I have learned the hard way to trust my gut when trying new videos. There is a BIG difference between being challenged (in a healthy way) and being rushed. Trust your instincts about what feels right! - 4/10/2013 9:32:05 AM
  • In my younger days, I was very stretched out and flexible, but many years and 75 pounds later, not so much. HOWEVER, I started a new exercise activity and began stretching again. I am very pleased to report that you can regain much of your original flexibility!

    I may not be at 100% but I am definitely seing major improvements and believe that if I could discipline myself to put in the time, I could recapture nearly 95% of my flexibility capacity. Even now, in my early 50's.
    - 4/10/2013 9:09:36 AM
  • I always thought starting a workout slowly would incorporate the warmup at the same time without the stretching.
    I'm afraid I dislike stretching. Don't know why. Can't get into it. That's why I don't like yoga. - 4/10/2013 8:56:01 AM
  • HARVCOWAN
    Great reminders.....esp as we age, w/o scar tissue on torn muscles!!! - 3/16/2013 11:00:30 AM
  • I can't do exercise; but is a great article. I can't take 5 pounds on my hands. I can't pick up a baby born. - 8/21/2012 12:23:37 AM
  • You are so right, we all skip a warm-up, cool-down and even stretching. It is funny because when I teach a class all the above are very large components of the workouot; however if I am working out alone and pressed for time I will skip one of them!! I guess I should practice what I preach!! - 3/1/2011 11:35:20 AM
  • You know I used to TEACH karatedo for 10 years and even I am guilty of skipping a warm up even though I should KNOW better. - 1/20/2011 3:08:10 PM
  • CIRANDELLA
    Stretching WORKS: Now I'm a dead-ringer for Gumby! - 1/19/2011 8:30:59 PM
  • JEANMEEHAN
    we don't all want to lose weight! some of us are trying to gain...please, a few suggestions on this front. - 1/19/2011 4:39:11 PM
  • I play tennis 60 or 90 min sessions7 times each week on average, just a little warm up hitting before jumping right in. No cool down or streching for me... thats probably why i am almost stiff a board except when I am playing... (cant even come close to toucing me toes)..., but have remained pretty much free of injury or any discomfort since I started playing several years ago. - 1/19/2011 4:16:33 PM
  • The first blunder was a classic "me" move for longer than I care to remember (at least the no warm up and no stretching part was). I always wanted to jump right in and really rushed over the stretching. I started taking dance classes again last year, and over the summer in my Jazz and Hip Hop classes, my instructor had us stretching for 15 solid minutes and it was WONDERFUL and that didn't even include the warm up. I have enjoyed it so much - it has felt so good+, I never leave off the warm up or the stretching and in some of my aerobics classes I even stay a little longer at the end to stretch more because it feels like they're skimping now that I'm used to so long a stretch! - 1/19/2011 8:12:26 AM
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