Exercise is good for your health and has countless other benefits, but if you’re guilty of these four bad habits, you may be risking an injury.
Pushing through pain
The popular mantra “no pain, no gain” is misleading. Many people believe that pain during exercise is normal so they push through it thinking they’ll reach their goals. This approach, however, may set you back.
Pain during exercise is a warning sign that something could be wrong and shouldn’t be ignored. A certain amount of discomfort with exercise is important to feel challenged. A slight burn in the muscle is an indicator that you are stressing the muscle but should go away upon completion of the exercise. If your pain persists or worsens over time, interferes with other everyday functions outside of exercise like sleeping or walking or if it repeatedly requires pain medication, stop exercise and have the pain treated by a medical professional.
Doing the same workout
Everyone has their favorite workouts, but not changing your workout can eventually derail your goals. To avoid overuse injuries from stressing the same muscles and joints, switch up your workouts every four to six weeks. You can adapt your favorite workout by changing the order and types of exercises or the amount of weight and number of repetitions. Likewise, you can avoid a plateau by mixing up your cross-training and cardio approach with high intensity interval training (HIIT).
Working out too much
It’s scientifically proven that exercise can become behaviorally addictive. Others are just dependent on daily exercise-induced endorphins. Long, prolonged workouts that occur daily can cause wear and tear on the body leading to injury.
Rest days provide recovery, which allows your body to work harder and more efficiently during your next workout.
Performing exercises incorrectly will ensure you don’t get the results you want and will inevitably cause injury. When starting an exercise program, consult a professional like a personal trainer who can demonstrate proper form and get you started on the right foot. If you’ve already developed habitually bad form, it’s not too late to correct it with the help of a professional.