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Fitness Mistakes Not To Make!

Let's talk mistakes. More specifically fitness mistakes.

When I first got into fitness 4 years ago. I was a complete newbie, nervous and very clueless. In my eyes the gym was complete unknown territory, what was a deadlift?, I'd never heard of kale and my fridge was full of every 'low-fat' product you could find.  

Anyone on a fitness journey knows that at the beginning things are scary! It's so so easy to make a hell lot of mistakes. I certainly did and my god I still do. I have however learned a hell of a lot over the past years and my god if you had told me at the beginning that I'd actually be here now training other people, I would've laughed in your face! 

Anyway as it's new year and of course it's the prime time for anyone starting the gym or setting new goals. I thought I'd share with you some fitness mistakes I've made and wish I could go back and tell myself certainly NOT to make! 

You're allowed to train different ways. When I first started going to the gym. I thought you had to either lift weight being the next best body builder. Run ages on the treadmill being the next marathon runner. Or be in a downward dog and forever be a yogi. I thought you had to do one or the other. When in reality, you can do whatever your heart and body desires. Whether that be wanting to squat heavy one day and practice head stands the next or go for a run or maybe a swim the next. It's all fine! In fact it's better to do a bit of everything, keep your body guessing, keep things fun and exciting! 

Stretching is important. Never ever under estimate the importance of stretching, it's a crucial part of any fitness routine. When I first started the gym, I was so solemnly into weight training and resorted to nothing else, I pushed out stretching properly before and after my sessions because I didn't see the point or understand why I should. It's something I've also watched many people neglect, usually due to similar reasons. So why is stretching important? Stretching increases flexibility, meaning we'll have a greater range of motion within our joints. This then leads on to reducing the risk of injury during your training, improving muscle balance leading to an improved posture and increases the nutrient and blood supply to your muscles therefor decreases the amount of muscle soreness after training.  

Protein isn't the only important macro-nutrient. Oh how I fell for this one. Bouncing your way into to fitness world, especially if you're into weight training, the first thing I got thrown at me was 'protein this' 'protein that' and oh you MUST have a protein shake 30 minutes after you train or what was even the point in training?! All the gains would be lost!!! I got so obsessed with the world of protein and with very little knowledge put aside the importance of all three macro-nutrients. If your diet is completely high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats then your body is going to go straight to protein for it's energy resource, meaning it's not actually going to be used for building and repairing muscle tissues. 

Cardio isn't important. Again like I mentioned above, when I got introduced to weight lifting, my whole life became revolved around it, I never really did anything else. It's very common in the fitness industry to have cardio seen as the absolute devil!!! And while I do mainly lift weights now, I never cut out the importance of cardio vascular training. Why is it important? Cardiovascular activity increases the ability of the lunge and heart to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscles. It also enhances the muscles ability to use to oxygen for adequate movement. Having a good cardio vascular fitness can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. And it isn't just one thing! It can be a whole range of activities such as swimming, running, dancing, skating, cycling, walking! Whatever you enjoy doing go for it! 

Weight over form. Wanting to lift heavy is great however if you're trying to hit that weight and losing all good form, you're putting yourself at risk of injury. I know sometimes it aint the best feeling when you're maybe having to drop the weight from what you did previously but sometimes it's way more important to get it right with that lower weight. If you're unsure on the form don't be scared to ask a PT or other instructor around the gym!

You can always learn more. Never ever think you know everything, it's probably one of the worst things you can do! You can always learn more! And it's okay to admit you don't know something. Always go away, learn new things, keep growing and expanding you knowledge!

Focusing too much on 'wanting to be skinny'.  For a long, long, long time the only reason I exercised was to torture myself and mind to 'look different' or 'be skinny'. The only thing this leads to is feeling miserable with yourself 24/7 and actually resenting exercise and viewing it as a chore. While it's all good and well wanting to look good and feel comfortable, being 'skinny' shouldn't be the outlook you have over everything. Exercise and keeping active should always be something you find yourself enjoying. As soon as I stopped focusing on wanting to loose weight and actually focusing on the wonderful things by body could achieve, I started to find the things I loved to do. I love seeing my body lift heavier weights and I love being able to do a crazy yoga pose I once couldn't do! It's a much better feeling than constantly wanting to change my image. 


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