Incorporating an exercise regime into your lifestyle at least once a week is important if you want to stay fit and healthy. It’s an effective and safe way to lose weight and keep it off. Exercising also lowers your risk to health problems such as chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

In addition, exercising is a great way to stay happy because it encourages the production of endorphins which is known as a happy hormone. So, not only can you be healthier, but you can also be happier!

Be warned though. While exercising can be beneficial, exercising without proper precaution or practice can do more harm than good. To make sure that you can reap the benefits of a good workout, avoid these common workout mistakes:

YOU’RE NOT WARMING UP BEFORE A WORKOUT

Think of your body as a grill. What do you do before you cook a meal on a grill? You warm it up first. This is important to prepare your body for higher-intensity workouts and prevent potentially injuring yourself. A proper warm-up can also encourage blood flow and help your body cope with the strenuous activity.

YOU’RE NOT WORKING ON YOUR FLEXIBILITY

The measure of a healthy body isn’t only the appearance of abs and pecks. Being flexible is a factor too. In fact, it’s even more important than strength. You know why? Because flexibility allows you to move without limitations and enables you to perform everyday activities without pain. For example, picking something up from the floor without squatting down. Reaching the top shelf without straining your arms. There are more scenarios that require flexibility. Unfortunately, we often neglect it in our workouts.

NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER

Sweat can be a good sign that your exercise is paying off. However, you can quickly become dehydrated and working out while dehydrated is dangerous. If you’re unable to replenish the fluid your body lost, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. It also makes it more difficult for your body to effectively regulate its temperature. Be safe while working out by drinking enough water before, during, and after a session.

YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH

30-day exercise challenges have grown in popularity because they promise to give you results fast. However, what most fail to take into account is that there is such a thing as exercising. Obviously, in the start, you don’t immediately have the flexibility or strength to perform complex high-intensity exercises which are often featured in these challenges. So, because you’re not yet used to the routine, you have high chances of injuring yourself.

Don’t just jump into high-intensity workouts. Start small and gradually raise the intensity of your exercise. For example, don’t do 100 push-ups on the first day and start with 20 to 30 instead and work our way up. This is to help you build your stamina and core without overexerting your body.

Another thing, don’t do high-intensity workouts every day. Exercising is good for the body but so is rest. And after a workout, your body will need plenty of it. Avoid hitting the gym every day and go every other day instead.

YOU’RE NOT COOLING DOWN

A cool or warm down routine is as important as a warm-up. Why? When you’re performing a high-intensity workout or any strenuous activity, the blood vessels in your legs expand to help them keep the movement up. Then when you suddenly stop exercising, your heart rate abruptly slows down as well. This can cause the blood to cool down in the lower half of your body. It can even lead to a fainting episode.

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