Exercise is good for your health. But it’s important that you’re exercising the right way. By developing bad exercise habits, it’s possible that you could be doing more harm than good. Below are just 10 common unhealthy exercise habits you should try to break.
Skipping the warm-up
Launching straight into intense exercise without taking the time to warm up your muscles is a big mistake. Skipping the warm-up, can increase the risk of your muscles cramping and your joints getting torn or pulled.
Why does a warm-up make a difference? When you do gentle exercise as a warm-up, you help your muscles to fill with blood. This helps them to stay oxygenated and supple so that you’re ready for a workout. The tendons and ligaments are also given time to loosen up. All in all, it’s very important.
Wearing the wrong footwear
Another common mistake is wearing the wrong footwear. Certain types of footwear may put a strain on your joints when doing certain exercises. This can increase the risk of ankle and knee injuries.
For example, if you do a lot of running, you shouldn’t just wear ordinary sneakers. Running shoes are much better suited to running as they give your ankles and knees the support they need. Similarly if you do a lot of weightlifting, it’s worth investing in some weightlifting shoes.
Lifting with the wrong form
‘Good form’ isn’t just important for generating power and helping you lift stronger weights. It can also help to prevent injuries – in particular, back injuries when doing a deadlift.
If you do a lot of weight lifting, pay attention to your posture as you exercise. You can find information online about the right form or you can ask a personal trainer. This guide to doing a deadlift could be useful for helping you to adopt the right form.
Not washing your kit
After a sweaty workout, it’s important that you wash your gym clothes. Not only are they likely to be smelly, but they could also be covered in bacteria, which will continue to breed on the clothes. This bacteria will then get transferred onto your skin the next time you wear the clothes, leading to skin problems like acne, folliculitis and fungal rashes.
Make sure that you wash your gym kit every time you exercise. If you like to work out multiple times per week, buy some spare gym clothes so that you’re not having to wash the same clothes as often.
Exercising with makeup on
Wearing make-up may help you to look your best in the gym and feel confident, but it’s not advised. When we exercise, our pores open up. These are likely to get blocked by the oils in the makeup, which could lead to blackheads and pimples.
Try to avoid wearing makeup while exercising or keep it minimal to protect your skin. There are a few brands of makeup that aren’t oil based and may be better for doing exercise in, but generally speaking you’re better off going make-up free to the gym.
Wearing the wrong bra
Wearing the right bra while exercising also matters. A sports bra is designed to keep the breasts firmly in place – too much jiggling can actually damage your breast tissue and cause strain on the spine, which is why you shouldn’t train without a sports bra.
It’s not only important to wear a sports bra, but to choose the right sports bra. If it’s too tight or too loose, it could also cause discomfort and chafing. Consider checking out this guide to choosing the perfect sports bra to help you buy the right bra.
Overdoing your workouts
It’s possible to overdo exercise. This often leads to sports injuries such as stress fractures, sprains and strains. Such an injury could mean having to give up exercise completely until you recover, so it is important to not exercise excessively.
While many of us find it rewarding to push our limits, you need to make sure that you don’t push yourself too far. When you start shaking, feeling sick or start feeling pain, it’s a sign that you’ve pushed your body too far. On top of knowing when to stop, it’s important to also make sure that you’re getting a good enough break afterwards. Most people exercise on alternate days – this involves a day of exercise followed by a day of rest. Doing the same intense exercise two days in a row will likely end in injury.
Exercising with an injury
Once you develop an injury, it’s important that you let yourself recover before you start exercising again. If you continue to exercise, you could prevent your injury from healing and possibly make it worse. A lot of people end up turning what could have been a temporary injury into a permanent injury – which could restrict the way you exercise forever.
While recovering from an injury, it is important to still be active, but you need to opt for light low-impact exercises that won’t cause unnecessary aggravation. Make sure that you choose the right treatment so that you fully recover. For example, when it comes to a shoulder injury, decide whether you need to look into shoulder surgery near you or whether you simply need to rest your shoulder and do stretches. A physical therapist or doctor will be able to recommend treatment options.
Swimming without a cap
Swimming is a popular and effective form of exercise. If you’re doing a lot of swimming, it could be worth wearing a swimming cap. This doesn’t just keep the hair out of your face, but can also protect your hair from chlorine damage. This can cause hair to become dry and brittle and it can also cause scalp irritation.
You can buy swimming caps online or from many swimming pool stores. Make sure to find the right fit so that all your hair is covered.
Not adjusting your diet
Once you start upping your exercise, it’s important that you adjust your diet accordingly. This is particularly important if you’re skinny and you’re trying to bulk up – you could end up burning lots of calories and making yourself ill if you don’t plan to eat more and up your protein.
Even if you’re planning to lose weight, it’s important to adjust your diet as well as exercising. You may succeed in burning fat, but you’ll also be extremely tired all the time if you’re not getting the right nutrients into your diet. A healthy diet will energize you and will make you more willing to keep to your workout schedule.