10 small and big mistakes await us at the gate during training. Here’s what they are and how to avoid them

Eugenio Spagnuolo

– Milan

Exercising promises many health benefits. Not only the physical one, but also the mental and emotional one. For this, experts recommend 30 minutes a day of activity, 5 days a week. But be careful: exercise is important, but it is not enough: you have to do it in the right way avoiding the pitfalls that are hidden in every physical activity and can do us more harm than good. Here are 10 mistakes you shouldn’t overlook when training.

Eat before training. Eating a meal less than 2 hours after training is a bad idea: our body would be busy digesting food, preventing blood from flowing as it should to the muscles. This could have a negative effect on post-workout recovery and also be the cause of cramps and nausea. The solution? If you really have to eat, in the two hours before training, it is better to prefer a light snack such as peanut butter and a banana, Greek yogurt and berries, oatmeal or a handful of nuts or raisins, instead of a full meal.

No heating. Starting any physical activity without warming up can save us a few minutes, but that’s not a good thing at all. The body needs heating to get blood flowing, loosen muscles and alert the nervous system. Warming up can be something as easy as walking, jogging, or cycling for 5-10 minutes.

The wrong posture. Exercising in poor posture will also limit our progress and could cause injury. For example, when lifting weights, it is imperative to try to keep your back straight and your shoulders back and relaxed.

Keep the breath. It is important to pay attention to breathing: holding your breath (sometimes we do it unwittingly) limits the amount of oxygen that enters our body and if we hold our breath for a long time, there is a risk of fainting. That’s why when lifting weights, trainers recommend taking a deep breath before starting a set, then releasing the air gradually as we go.

Don’t care about the shape. In sport, substance counts, but it is not enough. Form is important and neglecting it could limit our movements. Not to mention that doing the exercises incorrectly can make us weaker and damage the muscles. That’s why experts suggest using light weights and perfecting your form, so that you know an exercise well, before going into more intense workouts.

Don’t follow a plan. Whether it’s running or a classic workout in the gym it is good to respect the times: especially those who are at the beginning of physical activity could be tempted to do too many things and quickly. But there is a risk of being overwhelmed.

Ignore our limits. The first rule for those who join the gym? Don’t try to lift more weight than you can handle. The risk of injury is just around the corner. Even professional bodybuilders suggest adding weight a little at a time and learning to master the loads, before building them up.

Just do what you like. Let’s face it: some exercises (or workouts) we like more than others, and they’re probably the ones we’re best at. But it is important to train all muscle groups and do it with different movements: always focusing on the same muscle groups can in fact make their recovery difficult.

Don’t drink enough. Staying hydrated is essential for refreshing the body and maintaining blood flow during physical activity. But it is not enough to indulge in a few sips while exercising: you should drink water before training, then a quarter of a liter approximately every 15 minutes of activity and drink once again after the workout (especially when the outside temperature turns warm)

Don’t get cold. Once a workout is over, haste may push us not to relax the muscles with stretching and light stretches, which instead have an essential function: to bring the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing back to normal levels. Stretching your muscles while they are still “hot” and blood flows to them can then help them gain valuable elasticity over time.

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