Whether you hit the gym every day or plan to start going soon, it’s worth taking a step back to ensure you’re making the most of your workouts. Are you using the machines and weights the most effective way? Is it time to mix things up in your exercise regimen? In this excerpt from THE HER CAMPUS GUIDE TO COLLEGE LIFE, the editors of Her Campus share the 6 biggest workout mistakes to avoid when you’re at the gym…
#1. You forget to warm up. Jumping right into a workout means you haven’t given your body the time to get adequate oxygen and blood flow to the muscles you’re using, increasing your risk of injury. Start with a few minutes of walking to get your blood flowing!
#2. You do tons of reps . . . but have terrible form. If you’re not doing your exercises with the right form, you could be doing worse than nothing for your body—you could be hurting yourself. Ask a trainer at the gym to show you how to do a move correctly if you’re unsure.
#3. You study or watch TV while you’re on the elliptical. If your mind isn’t in the workout, you might not actually be giving it your all. Being conscious of your body while you’re exercising will help you concentrate on picking up the pace, maintaining the correct posture, and breathing right.
#4. You speed through your weights. Doing each repetition too quickly only means you’re not getting the full benefit of the workout. Lift the weight slowly as you breathe in, hold for a moment at the height of the contraction, and then exhale as you release, paying attention to the resistance.
#5. You don’t drink enough water. Hydrate with one to two cups of water before you exercise, and then continue to drink during your workout (don’t guzzle it down, otherwise you’ll give yourself cramps!). Without water, you and your muscles become dehydrated, so you won’t be able to work to your fullest potential.
#6. You’re on the elliptical for an hour every day. As you repeat the same workout each day, your body is adapting to those steps. At a certain point, you’re no longer progressing, so instead of getting back on the same machine for the millionth time, switch up what you’re doing at the gym each time you go.
Get more tips to on health and fitness in THE HER CAMPUS GUIDE TO COLLEGE LIFE!
Interested in yoga? Here’s a video to kickstart a 10-minute practice for energy:
Tips on Life & Love: How to Prepare for Your Daily Walk
Excerpted from The Her Campus Guide to College Life. Copyright © 2019 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash.