Common Fitness Mistakes And How To Correct Them

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine….

stretchRegular exercise or sports participation is a great way to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but mistakes in your training could lead to injury or keep you from achieving your fitness goals. A sports medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine discusses common mistakes that can result in injury.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

“Repetitive stress injuries are common when you are doing the same activity, such as running, swimming, throwing and lifting repeatedly, particularly without supportive cross-training, core conditioning and rest days,” said Dr. Theodore Shybut, associate professor in the Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor.

Often when people experience pain during their preferred activity, they try to push through it or rest for a minimal amount of time and resume the activity as soon as it starts to feel slightly improved. Shybut advises stepping back and looking at the big picture.

“It doesn’t make any sense to push back to activity too fast. If the stresses of a sport or exercise have resulted in injury, returning to that same activity too quickly may not allow for proper healing and recovery,” he said.

It’s important to identify issues early on, he said. For example, speaking from his own personal experience as a Boston and New York Marathon runner, people training for a marathon generally start training 15 to 24 weeks ahead of time. They can get too focused on their day-to-day workout goals, pushing through pain to complete a day of training, and lose sight of the overall goal of finishing the race.

But according to Shybut, people training for a marathon should identify pain early and take a few days to a few weeks off to cross-train, work on corrective rehabilitation and let the issue resolve before pushing back into hard training. Evaluation by a sports medicine specialist and rehabilitation with a good physical therapist also may be beneficial and is recommended for any pain that persists.

The same is true for repetitive upper extremity workouts, such as swimming, throwing, Olympic lifting, rowing, etc. Shoulder pain can indicate rotator cuff injury, muscle strain, an impingement syndrome, and evaluation with an experienced sports medicine specialist can help diagnose the problem and optimal treatment.

Muscle pulls and tennis elbow also are common with repetitive workouts. Keep in mind tennis elbow does not only occur during tennis. It can be the result of any repetitive stress, including lifting weights, rowing, other racquet sports and may even occur in some professions such as butchers, plumbers and carpenters whose work involves repetitive wrist and forearm activities.

seniorjoggerIt is fine to rest for a few days and modify training to pain-free activities to see how your injury responds. Some training aches such as delayed onset muscle soreness will improve, and athletes may quickly resume high intensity training. If pain persists, see a sports medicine physician or physical therapist.

“It’s important to remember that when you see world-class or elite-level athletes, they have done a lot of extra work in training to get where they are. This includes cross-training, proper dynamic warmups, strengthening and flexibility work, preventative exercises, core fitness and corrective exercises focused on the weakest elements of their kinetic chains,” Shybut said.

It’s also important to understand your fitness program may have relative deficiencies, Shybut said. Common deficient areas include core strength, postural and small muscle groups, endurance and eccentric tolerances. The goal of a good corrective program is to find a way to strengthen the deficient muscles in a way that replicates the activity without the extreme level of stress and build the muscles up so that they are strong enough to handle the actual sport or movement, for example throwers performing a PEP (Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance) program or runners doing eccentric single leg squats.

Proper Technique

Understanding the proper technique for different workouts is key in injury prevention. Using bad form during activities such as squatting can aggravate your knees or strain your back if the body is not properly aligned.

Shybut suggested engaging with a fitness trainer with a strong rehabilitation background when starting a new workout routine.

Too Much To Soon

Shybut said that he often sees injuries when people do too much too soon in a new exercise routine. For example, if you’re starting high-intensity interval training that involves Olympic lifts and sprints, where muscles are maximally engaged, be aware of your baseline fitness first. If you haven’t been working out, start with basic cardiovascular fitness exercises, including walking, biking or swimming. Start weight training with light-resistance exercises to get comfortable with the proper form before you “max out.” Seek out coaching guidance.

“It’s important to know when to stop, and severe pain should be a red flag. While some soreness is normal, the amount of soreness you experience with workouts should decreases as your body adapts. See a sports medicine specialist for evaluation if you experience joint pain, swelling, painful popping or catching, or instability,” Shybut said. “Exercise is medicine, so do exercise and have fun.”

Mistakes People Make In The Gym

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By Cody Bollerman

exerciseballIf you have just recently started hitting the gym more regularly, it is natural to feel more experienced than you actually are. However, you cannot afford to be as nonchalant as the folks that have established muscle memory and the familiarity that comes with years of hard work. Therefore, let’s talk about some of the most common, but also most obvious mistakes made by new fitness buffs.

Drinking Little to No Water

Although most people know the importance of regular hydration, CBS reports that over 75% of the population in the United States consumes less than the 6 daily cups prescribed by the Institute of Medicine. This basically means that more than three quarters of Americans are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. Seeing how even mild dehydration influences both mental and physical performance, this statistic is quite shocking. Realistically, most physically active people need to drink at least twice the amount. In addition, if you are a heavy sweater, you need a drink with some electrolytes to help you replenish and retain all the fluid you lose during a workout.

Neglecting Warm Ups

For some reason, most people walk into a gym, do a couple of arm circles, hit the bench and start lifting weights. A proper warm up session will increase your circulation, heart rate and the neural drive to working muscles. In a recent Journal of Strength and Conditioning study, researchers sought to determine what the best warm up really is, and how it might affect your strength. Of the two groups tested, the one which did not do warm ups (while the other had 5-minute warm ups) did not see any performance boost. Conversely, the group that had 15-minute long, low intensity warm ups gained the benefits of increased body temperature without any unnecessary fatigue. Furthermore, certain workout clothes may help you manage your body temperature, allow for a full range of motion, and prevents inflammation and muscle soreness. Luckily, you can easily find affordable gym clothes that will do just that. I’ve been using them for years myself, and I have yet to completely ruin a piece.

Neglecting Diet

Within an hour of completing your workout, your body needs to load your muscles with fuel and energy. The intake of the right nutrients stimulates protein synthesis (muscle growth) and the renewal of muscle glycogen. If you neglect this time window, your body may end up in a state of catabolism. Just this year, researchers from the McMaster University uncovered significant new evidence in the quest for the elusive goal of simultaneously losing fat and gaining muscle. The scientist studied two groups of young men that underwent a month-long regime of hard exercise. Both groups went on a low calorie diet, but one had lower levels of protein than the other did. The high-protein group experienced sufficient muscle gain, while the low protein group did not gain muscle mass.

Spending Too Much Time in the Gym

While it may seem ironic, this is a concept you should take into account for the sake of your schedule, and more importantly, your body. One of the biggest misconceptions most average gym-goers have is that you need to spend a couple of hours a day lifting weights in order to produce a fit and toned body. According to a study of over 300 men and women, published in the Journal of Current Biology, people who hit the gym twice a week burn about 200 calories more than your average person does. Furthermore, the study explains that over time, your body adapts to higher activity levels, and it changes your metabolism so that fewer calories are burned.

Staying Focused

According to the figures provided by Statistic Brain, almost 70% of gym-membership owners never use their membership cards at all. Just going to the gym on a regular basis is a task by itself, but once you arrive there, you have to make the most out of the time you have on hand. With a wide range of machines and workout regimes available, it is easy to get confused. You have to know what you want to do and how long you want it to take; and if you focus on one workout that targets a few areas, you will start to see progress after just a couple of weeks.

6 Reasons Why We Should Embrace Mistakes To Create A Balanced And Happier Life

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By Diane Lang

happyWe can’t be successful without taking a jump; a leap of faith within ourselves even if there is a chance of failing. Mistakes are teachable moments and much more – mistakes should affect us positively and not be viewed as negative. Here are six reasons why mistakes are a positive part of life and how embracing mistakes can lead to a more balanced, happier life.

“Recently I learned the hard way that jumping doesn’t always lead to instant success, but what it does lead to is a sense of accomplishment for trying. A sense of strength knowing fear didn’t stop you and the knowledge that we are all human and as many times as we jump is as many times there is a chance that you might fail and/or make a mistake. The funny part is through this whole jump experience, I have learned there is a lot of good in making a mistake. I want to share the positives of making a mistake. I hope this helps next time you decide to take a leap of faith and have a 50/50 chance of making a mistake,” shares Diane Lang.

Here are six reasons why mistakes are actually positive:

1. Let’s start with the typical one we always hear: we learn from our mistakes. An old one but a goodie. The happiest people are always learning.

2. Mistakes make us aware that we are not perfect. Once we realize we are only human, we can let of our perfectionism ideas and let the pressure melt away. We don’t have to set ourselves up for failure by expecting perfection or wanting to be perfect all the time. We can actually go enjoy ourselves knowing we aren’t perfect.

3. Mistakes mean we are taking risks. People who take risks are generally happy people. They take risks, they are creative. They don’t grow stale and/or stagnate. Instead, they take risks and enjoy the chances they are taking.
With mistakes, realize it’s about the journey to complete something not just about the outcome.

4. We develop a sense of accomplishment – mistakes give us a sense of pride. We tried, we didn’t procrastinate or let fear run our lives. Instead, we went for it. With taking risks comes a sense of pride and accomplishment.

5. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world. They only make us stronger. Making mistakes and trying again teaches us perseverance.

6. Mistakes are a motivator. They make us work harder.

“So, go out and make a mistake… I dare you!”

Diane Lang is a Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University.

The Biggest Mistakes Healthy People Make

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From Your Health Journal…..”A great article from MSN by Katy Moore about mistakes healthy people make. For example, taking some vitamins may actually be harmful if not done correctly. Some people who work out may think they do not need to eat their greens, but again, not true. Other notable things are about organic foods, as many feel they are more beneficial to better health. As the article states, an organic biscuit is still a biscuit. Diet drinks may be missing the spoonfuls of sugar found in regular fizzy drinks but sweeteners used to give that sugary taste are still undesirable as they’re chemical based. My favorite is the paragraph about salad, as many people eat if for its health benefits, but so many people add a lot of extra calories and fat to it, it almost takes away the benefits. Please visit the MSN site (link provided below) to view to complete article.”

From the article…..

So you go to the gym, drink low calorie drinks and eat low fat meals. You’re healthy right? Not necessarily. We talk to leading nutritionist and accredited practising dietician Dr Joanna McMillan about potential pitfalls that can hinder your health rather than sustain it.

I’m healthy, I take lots of vitamins

Less is often more with supplements. Some vitamins can even be detrimental to your health in large doses. “B6 can cause nerve damage in excess while overloading on iron tablets can instigate cellular damage in the gut, so be aware of what your body needs.” says Dr McMillan.

I work out so I don’t need to eat my greens every day

Just because you have gym membership doesn’t mean you can skimp on the essential nutrients found in healthy foods. Dr McMillan suggests that, “at least half a mealtime plate should consist of vegetables, which provide the vital phytochemicals our body needs

I’m healthy, I always buy organic

While eating organic food means consuming less potentially damaging chemicals, the widespread belief organic food is more nutritious, is largely unfounded according to Dr McMillan.

“Forget buying organic because you think it’s healthier. An organic biscuit is still a biscuit. If you can afford organic fresh food then great, but for most Australians the focus should be on eating more fresh food full stop.” she says.

I look after my health by concentrating on fat contents

Focus on fat and you might be missing some other health demons. Most people consume far more salt in their diet than recommended, with much of it hidden in processed and low-fat foods.

“Too much sodium can cause long term health problems like high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke and kidney issues,” Dr McMillan says.

Diet drinks are healthy-they have no sugar

Diet drinks may be missing the spoonfuls of sugar found in regular fizzy drinks but sweeteners used to give that sugary taste are still undesirable as they’re chemical based. Dr McMillan’s main concern is how they perpetuate the craving for sweet things.

“The bottom line is, we should be drinking water or veggie juice to quench our thirst, not relying on sweet tasting fizzy drinks”

To read the full article…..Click here