Avoid the 7 deadly workout sins

 Avoid the 7 deadly workout sins (plus one extra, for good measure)

I hate to sound like a broken record and reiterate what you've already heard so many times already, but when it comes to exercising, there are rules that apply and it's all too easy to let some things slide when it comes to doing it right and being safe. Working out seems simple enough, and in truth it really can be, but you'd be surprised at how many people make simple errors that end up putting them at risk for decreased results, frustration, and even serious injuries.

Avoid the 7 deadly workout sins

Honestly I've been known to commit some of these no-no's, namely skipping my warm-up and back in my gym-going days I used to hop into the hot tub right after my workout. Whoops.

So here they are, the 7 deadly sins workout sins to avoid:

  1. Skipping the warm-up. Jumping in too quickly puts a strain on your system as your heart rate rises quickly, while muscles and joints that aren't ready are at a high risk for strain, sprain, and other injury.
  2. Jumping into the hot tub or sauna right after a workout. Your body already has an elevated temperature and dilated blood vessels, and when you hop into the hot water you're making it difficult for your body to lower your pulse back to the normal resting rate. Try a cool shower to help dissipate some heat before heading to the sauna or hot tub.
  3. Holding your breath while lifting weights. Also called the Valsalva maneuver, holding your breath while lifting weight significantly raises blood pressure and can cause all kinds of problems, including dizziness, hernia, or even a stroke or heart attack.
  4. Not getting a physical before getting started. Exercise is pretty much always a good idea, but depending on your personal health and individual risk factors your doctor may recommend certain guidelines.
  5. Pushing too hard. Continuously pushing your heart to its maximum heart rate does nothing but stress your system. You do not need to overdo it to see the results you're looking for. For the average healthy adult the recommended heart rate range for a good cardio workout is 65-85 percent of the maximum.
  6. Using hand or ankle weights while walking or doing aerobics. In theory they seem like a good idea because it increases resistance and muscle toning, but they also greatly increase your chances of injuring joints, such as your shoulders. Save them for the strength training part of your workout, where you have more control.
  7. Wearing headphones outside. Jamming to the tunes can leave you distracted and therefore more likely to twist an ankle or even get hit by a car. And studies have shown that although people generally workout longer when listening to music, they don't exercise as intensely.

And here's a bonus 8th sin: Not listening to your body. Although some tiredness and even sore muscles can be normal after starting something new physically, not paying attention to anything that feels abnormal like pain, extreme soreness, dizziness, or abnormal heart rhythms could leave you seriously injured or worse yet suffering a system failure like a heart attack.

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