Top 5 Workout Mistakes

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Workout Mistake 1 - Exercise In Pain

Don't exercise thorough pain
Don't exercise thorough pain.

Many people get into the groove during exercise and forget about some key principles for safe and effective workouts. Exercising when you have pain is one of them, and it's the fastest way to develop a serious or persistent injury. Minor aches and pains can easily become chronic overuse injuries that plague us for years. If you feel pain during exercise, stop, rest and look for the cause of the pain. Sometimes all you need to do is make some minor adjustments to your equipment or body position to eliminate pain.

For example, if you are hiking and feel the telltale burning sensation of a blister developing on your heel, immediate treatment may prevent the problem altogether. Letting it progress may lead to a painful and long-lasting blister than might take you off the trail for a week or more. Pain is your body's way of warning you of a problem. Pay attention and you will often find you can quickly recover and return to training faster than if you push through.

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Workout Mistakes 2 - Never Taking A Rest Day

Rest is an often overlooked part of a workout routine for effective training. If you don't plan rest or schedule recovery days into your training, you actually limit your ability to train. Your body gets stronger after exercise stress, so you need to allow down time for the rebuilding of muscle tissue. An effective training program will have regular periods of rest and recovery. This allows you to adapt to the exercise -- you return bigger, stronger and faster. Rest also allows you to recover mentally and emotionally and avoid exercise burnout.

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Workout Mistakes 3 - Ignore a Medical Condition

Athletes Often Use Pain Medication
Athletes Often Use Pain Medication. PNC / Getty Images

It's important to respect any medical conditions or physical limitations you have and select a workout routine that accommodates them. Ignoring a heart condition or joint disease during exercise, for example, can backfire and make your condition worse. Most physicians encourage exercise as a way to manage many chronic conditions and will work with you to set up a program that is right for you. If you have any health issues, talk with your doctor or work with a qualified personal trainer to make sure your workout is helping and not hurting you. Ignoring a health condition when you exercise doesn't make it go away, but it could make it worse.

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Workout Mistakes 4 - Never Changing Your Workout

To excel at a skill, you need to practice it. However, doing the same workout routine all the time can increase you risk of injury as well as lead to muscle imbalance, weakness and just plain boredom. It's important to vary your workout routines from day to day and season to season. Cross training, combining endurance and speed training, and adding weight training or yoga are all great ways to maintain a high level of fitness without overstressing certain muscle groups.

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Workout Mistakes 5 - Ignore Proper Form During Exercise

No matter what sort of workout routine or exercise you enjoy, using incorrect technique not only reduces the effectiveness of the workout but puts you at greater risk for getting injured. Take time to learn proper technique whether you are lifting weights, doing yoga, running or swimming. Even if you have been playing a sport for years, you'd be surprised at what you can learn by taking a lesson or meeting with a personal trainer for a refresher session.

Getting the most from weight lifting requires proper form, controlled movements and the right amount of weight. Lifting weights that are too heavy for you is a set-up for injury. If you can't maintain proper form while lifting, the weights are too heavy for you.

Exercising when you are fatigued is another easy way to get sloppy with your form. When you are tired, it's much harder to maintain proper technique and stay focused. Mental fatigue can put you at risk, particularly if you are cycling or running, as you may be more likely to ignore surrounding traffic and road conditions.

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