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5 fitness mistakes you’re probably making

Don't let these common mistakes disrupt your fitness goals.

14 January 2015
by Jennifer Campbell

Mistake 1: “I don’t have a training plan”

Solution: You may think you know what you’re doing, but working with a structured training programme that’s specifically tailor-made to your needs not only makes an exercise regime easier to stick to but also safer, says Claudia Gravenorst, a biokineticist and the coordinator of the Healthy Weight programme at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

“A personalised training plan is essential and can be drawn up by a biokineticist or personal trainer,” she says. “It’s best to go for a full fitness assessment first: this will allow you to define exactly what you want to achieve, set deadlines, which are a great motivator, and highlight any health concerns you may have.”

Mistake 2: “I don’t have a fitness goal”

Solution: Goals set the foundation for a successful exercise regime, says Kirsten van Heerden, a clinical and sports psychologist. “Goals keep you focused and help you evaluate your progress,” she explains. “Without them you won’t know how you’re doing, which doesn’t build confidence or motivation.” 

The best way to set a goal is to follow what Van Heerden calls “The Goldilocks Principle”: that is, goals must be just right – challenging but attainable. She recommends creating goals for the short term too. “Setting daily or weekly goals helps keep you on track as you can feel a sense of achievement more often than just focusing on one big goal in the distant future,” she says.

Mistake 3: “I push through injuries”

Solution: When starting a new regime, it’s common for people to injure themselves due to poor technique, exercise overload and insufficient recovery, by increasing intensity too quickly and/or progressing with a plan too quickly, cautions Gravenorst. However, treating injuries correctly and following the full rehabilitation process are important, she urges. “Addressing these weaknesses and injuries will help you save time and money and keep you on track with your new training programme,” she says.

Mistake 4: “I never let my body recover properly”

Solution: You may want to make up for the months or years of not exercising by training every day of the week as your regime kicks off – but don’t, warns Gravenorst. The body repairs itself between workouts, so rest days are essential, even for professional athletes. Adequate sleep, hydration and a proper eating plan also contribute to proper recovery.

Mistake 5: “I don't have a clear starting point”

Solution: “Before starting any weight-loss or exercise programme, it’s important to check your general health,” says healthcare service manager for Clicks Clinics Kobie van der Merwe. Be sure to get your blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, glucose and cholesterol tested, and return for regular screenings in order to track your progress.

How Clicks Clinics can help you

Clicks Clinics will help you manage your weight loss and identify and manage your risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes with their wide range of screening tests and health assessments.

These include:

  • Clicks Full Basic Screening (BP, Body Mass Index or BMI, meal guide and exercise plan)
  • Clicks Screening Measurements only (BP and BMI)
  • Clicks Comprehensive Screening (BP, BMI, Glucose and Cholesterol screening, plus meal and exercise plan).
  • Total Lean Lifestyle Programme

To make an appointment at a Clicks Clinic, call 0860 254 257 or book online at Clicks Clinics.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for weight loss aids

Try the Clicks Smartbite range for healthy, sugar-free snacks that will assist you on your weight loss quest, as well as the Clicks health food range.

Also, track your workouts and fitness journey with our expert selection of health & fitness trackers.

IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com