Top 5 Worst Exercise Habits

Congrats, you're exercising! Now be sure to avoid these top 5 workout mistakes.

I work with clients to establish safe and smart diet and exercise regimens. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of incorrect information out there! Here are the top 5 exercise faux pas I commonly come across.

1.) Same Old, Same Old

Many people tend to settle in to the same exercises day after day. Routines that were once a challenge become easier as you gain strength and endurance. This can also lead to injuries from overworked muscles and weakening in ones that aren’t getting enough attention. Mix things up to keep your muscles strong and endurance peaked.

2.) Going Through the Motions

I always see folks at the gym that spend more time chatting it up than working it out. Others just mindlessly run through a series of machines without paying any attention on how to properly use them (the directions are right there on the equipment). If you aren’t breaking a sweat, you probably aren’t working hard enough.

3.) Over Committing

When considering starting an exercise regimen, too much too soon can lead to mental overload and physical injury. Don’t expect to go from never exercising to working out 7 days a week. Set realistic goals and work your way up – you’ll be much more likely to stick to it.

4.) Heating Things Up

I still hear ridiculous stories about plastic suits and people spending hours in saunas fully dressed in order to shed extra  pounds. Not only is this ineffective, it can lead to serious health problems like dehydration and heat illness which can be life threatening. Always wear breathable loose clothing when exercising and stay hydrated to allow your body’s natural cooling mechanisms to do their job.

5.) Go, Go Gadgets

Those commercials sure are appealing but weights that shake, electrodes that zap your abs and sneakers that promise to give you a better butt aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Not only are they a waste of money, some might leave you with nothing but a trip to the orthopedic surgeon. Just like there’s no magic pill for a better diet there are no magic gadgets to do the exercise for you. Get moving and consult with a qualified personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach to find out what type of equipment is right for you.

TELL US: Are you guilty of any of these exercise no-nos?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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