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  • Ankur Sachdev

Common Mistakes Committed While Trying To Get Fit

The definition of 'fitness' is different for everyone. Fitness for some means being slim, while fitness for some means the ability to lift heavy weight. Let's get ourselves in sync first by understanding what fitness is.

Let's Get Fit
Image Credit: Let's go mommy

Fitness means being physically & mentally sound and able to perform everyday tasks efficiently. It has very little to do with looks and hardly touches the subject of bodybuilding. Again, fitness means different for everyone and people with a passion for bodybuilding should not consider the previous statement as an insult. Observe army personnel or a sports personality. You would get a better understanding of fitness. Army personnel walks with a heavy kit on his shoulder for several kilometers. In worst scenarios, they even have to trek through rough places like a jungle or a mountain. A sports personality stays on the ground for an entire day without running out of breath.

Being fit has a lot to do with your overall health: physical and emotional. There are many reasons why you should exercise regularly. Here are a few reasons:

1. Improves metabolism and helps to age gracefully

We all love ourselves during the younger days because we look "fab". Our body can digest food properly and our skin glows with the cosmetics that we use. As we grow old, all this goes down and nothing works. Truth be told, the use of any artificial element maintains our body for a limited time only. To age gracefully and avoid indigestion, regular exercise is a must. Exercising regularly keeps the blood flow going. This maintains our skin and makes us look younger.

It is the best stress buster and a mood booster. Serotonin increases during exercise and this regulates our mood. The increase in serotonin is also the reason why we sleep and eat better. Once we start exercising, we become more aware of the kind of food we eat as every bite that we take affects our body and this becomes apparent during the exercise sessions. So, we automatically start making healthy food choices.

2. Reduces the risk of dementia and osteoporosis Dementia is related to memory disorders, personality changes, & impaired reasoning and osteoporosis is related to the making of bone tissue to replace the older ones. The chances for both, dementia and osteoporosis, can be reduced with regular sessions.

Osteoporosis can be prevented by including walking, jogging, stair climbing, and load-bearing, to name a few, in a session. The good news is that most of it can be done anywhere. When you are in the office, you can move from one floor to another by stairs instead of an elevator. When you have to go out to buy groceries, you can walk a little distance and come back home by carrying the weight. You may feel tired if you are a beginner but once it becomes a habit, you will enjoy doing it. You may even start to observe that people of your age group look more tired than you even without doing anything.

Dance is a form of exercise too and it has got many benefits. One of them is that it reduces the chances of dementia. Dance improves cognitive functions too and is known to be helpful for people who are at high risk of suffering from Alzheimer's. It is best to vent out a negative emotion to prevent suffering from depression, stress, and anxiety. Every session is an opportunity to do that and make yourself feel better.

3. Improves mental health and productivity

A session makes you feel happy about yourself especially when you have achieved a target or beat your previous target. You become aware of your capabilities and achieving more than the target boosts your confidence. A high confidence level is a key element of becoming a leader. Since you have vented out every negative emotion during the session, you focus better on what matters the most in life.

The regular set of workouts develops a sense of goal setting. You realize your potential and understand the limit to which you can push yourself. There is a good chance that you may become the person who pushes the performance to such an extent that you achieve your targets a lot before the deadline.

Kids learn from elders. You may inspire your kids, the future generation, to remain involved in a consistent and regular set of sessions. You also teach them the importance of patience. Since nothing happens overnight just like Rome was not built in a day, kids (and you too) learn that lesson very well.

4. Increases stamina

More stamina helps you to pick more active hobbies like trekking, mount climbing, river rafting, bicycling, etc. Such hobbies have been proven to be an effective part of an active and healthy lifestyle. Your quality of life improves tremendously as you can experience all of it better than those who do not exercise.

Playing with kids is an activity that no parent wants to miss out on. It demands a lot of stamina to run around, jump, and, probably, carry a child playfully. You may think that this is a lot to do after an early morning session but that is a misconception. You feel energized and play with your kids exactly the way they want you to play with them. You may end up playing with a zest that you had during your childhood.

The same thing can be applied to those who have pets and not children. With more stamina, you can walk your pet around and play with him/her in a park. A pet loves to see the high involvement of his/her human in their activity.

5. You sleep better

There is a difference between sleeping when you are tired and when you are satisfied. With regular sessions, you sleep with the satisfaction of achievement. You feel good about taking care of yourself. Your mind is full of positivity. With so many good thoughts, you feel excited to repeat all of it the next day. So, you sleep on time with nothing but satisfaction & happiness and wake up on time with a positive attitude.

A proper sleep prevents chronic illnesses like heart disease, asthma, obesity, and diabetes. This makes your lifestyle more calm and relaxed. You save so much money that could have been spent on medicines for such illnesses, that you can think about investing it to secure your future and make it better. While others may be living on various medicines, you would be relying less on them except for the ones that may be required due to biological and natural causes.

Better sleep also means having sweet dreams. So, this one is like having a cherry on the cake.

Anything painful during the initial days is not necessarily bad for you. The benefits of exercising stated above prove that this statement is correct. A consistent and regular session will pay off in the future.

Common mistakes committed while trying to get fit

An activity is fruitful only if it is done in the right way. If an activity is done in the wrong way, then it will not yield the desired result. It is similar to a line that is frequently said by many: Your intentions don't matter till the time you do something in the right way.

A session gives you the desired result if you do it in the right way. Here are a few mistakes that you might be committing while trying to get fit:

1. Avoiding warm-up session

A warm-up session heats your body & muscles and prepares them for a workout session. It is a mistake to avoid or skip a warm-up session. A warm-up session generally consists of dynamic stretching, on-the-spot march, knee lifting, and shoulder rolling, to name a few. These exercises set your body and get it in tune for a major session. A warm-up session also reduces the chances of getting injured.

To make your warm-up session effective, it is important to keep your mobile phones aside. Keeping your mobile phones aside during the entire session is highly recommended. You attend a session for a reason which is to get fit and get started for the day. A distraction would not let you do that and there is a high chance that you might lose the track of your exercise.

2. Lacking a proper plan and reasoning

People often jump to a machine and start working out with all their energy. These people are mostly those who take up a new year's resolution or who are trying to impress the other person for romantic reasons irrespective of how many chances they have. Some people get inspired by a celebrity and vow to become like them. This attitude drains you out instead of making you fit. A workout plan, just like any other plan, is a set of actions that you need to take to achieve your goal. A work-out plan helps you to allot sufficient time to every work-out that you have to do on a particular day.

I talked about the goal in the previous paragraph. The goal is nothing but the reason for you to take up a session. It has to be specific and not ambiguous. For example, your goal must be to lose 5kgs weight in one month. The ultimate goal, of course, should be to maintain what you have achieved.

Maintaining a record is also a part of planning. When you maintain a record, you keep track of what you have achieved and think about how much more you need to put in. Keep a register or a diary with you and note down how much exercise you have done in a day. Review your performance at the end of the month and discuss it with your trainer or the concerned person. Also, do not forget to include proper sleep in your planning.

3. Inconsistency

The inconsistency here refers to two things: Increasing or decreasing the number of sets of a workout every day; and, Taking a day off randomly. A person takes a day off randomly mostly during their initial days. This is exactly what makes people give up early. The reason is the pain they feel or the low level of energy after a heavy work out. It is important to understand that it is normal to feel pain during your initial days. This happens to those who are professional too but taking a day off is not a solution. In case of any pain, change your workout and do something light instead of skipping it altogether. Once you do this, you feel more confident about yourself and your sense of achievement also gets a boost.

It is easy to give up or keep making changes to your session plan but it is hard to follow it with dedication. Experimenting too much with your session plan, and even diet for that matter is a mistake. Learn to trust the process and avoid experimenting too much unless a professional has suggested you make a change. If you run 5 kilometers on a day, then try to either maintain it or cross it. Do not increase/decrease the distance every day. It will not do any good to your health and you will not see the result.

This does not mean that you should never take a break. Keep one day of the week for yourself and relax. This will charge you up for next week's activities, including your sessions.

4. Low intake of fluids and nutrition

Many people think that consuming liquid like water and glucose during a session is bad for health. It is not and it is recommended to take a couple of sips between your workouts. This keeps you hydrated and you don't feel dizzy. The same principle applies to the consumption of nutrition. Adhering to a dieting plan is good but skipping your meals is bad. You do not get fit by skipping important meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You, instead, miss out on the important nutrition that your body requires to repair itself. Skipping a meal also reduces your energy and sugar level. This affects your sessions and reduces the chances of making progress.

Too much of something is equally bad. Having a bite of an energy bar sounds like a great idea but having it in abundance harms your body. The consumption of two energy bars will not give you twice the energy. It will, instead, customize your body to depend on artificial food products that boost energy. Every doctor and every professional trainer recommends reasonable consumption of fruits and vegetables because they increase energy and stamina with their natural ingredients.

The zero consumption of a small snack like a cup of tea or a biscuit before your early morning session is another mistake that you might be committing. A long break before meals harms the health and hence, affects the session.

5. Ignoring accessories

Accessories include shoes, yoga mat, clothes, support belt, and gloves, to name a few. An accessory is a crucial part of a session and ignoring it is a mistake. An athlete runs wearing a proper pair of shoes. A wrestler wrestles with a proper pair of gloves. It is not necessary to be at their level to understand the importance of every accessory. Even the manufacturers of equipment, like a treadmill, warn about the disadvantages of running on it without shoes.

Every accessory offers support to your body and this includes a nice t-shirt and track pants. Sure, you can run/walk in shorts too but they must be made of good quality material. A polyester t-shirt absorbs moisture and keeps your body breathable & relaxed. A pair of shoes offers a soft base for you to run/walk with ease. This prevents injuries to knees, ankles, and thighs.

A belt offers support to your back and a pair of gloves offer you the grip while lifting a heavy weight. You may not want to become a person with a huge body but weight lifting is still considered to be an integral part of a session as it keeps your muscles fit & young.

6. Checking weight every day

It takes time to achieve the desired result. Checking your weight every day will do nothing good. It will create panic and you would want to make changes to your sessions or put unnecessary effort. Keeping track of your progress is different from checking your weight. Keeping track of your progress generally means reviewing how many rounds or sets of an exercise have you done.

There is nothing wrong with checking your weight once a week or once a month. Trust the process that you are following and keep your goal in mind.

The best way to track your progress is by using a fitness device like a sports watch. A sports watch, or a fitness band tracks how many steps you have walked, how many steps you have run, the distance you have traveled, and the calories you have burned. These are some of the features that a sports watch offers. You get many more features depending on the brand and model you choose. Again, this should not be checked every second. Check the device at regular intervals like once every four hours.

7. Ignoring techniques and lacking accountability

How you exercise is important to make sure that the efforts you put in are worth it. Exercise is majorly about the technique. The better your technique, the better results you get. This also prevents serious injuries to your body. You can lift a weight as heavy as possible but if the technique is wrong, then it will not give you the desired result.

Yoga, especially, has a very specific way of performing the asana. It requires you to bend, stretch, or breathe in a particular way. The wrong technique also includes focusing only on one exercise or repeating a session every day and working out without an aim. Every muscle of your body needs to be taken care of and this can be done only with different exercises. Every exercise focuses on a particular part of your body and hence, you should do a different exercise every day. This, of course, depends on what your goal is.

Accountability reflects your commitment and delivers results. You may be accountable to a trainer or yourself. If you have hired a trainer in your gym, then it becomes your responsibility to show up every day and get your progress checked. Yes, a trainer stays with you throughout your session but if you are not serious about it then the trainer will not put any effort too. You can also be accountable to yourself by focusing on self-discipline. Make it your duty to wake up early in the morning and exercise without missing a day. Track your progress and keep your diet in check.

Avoid these mistakes and you will automatically head in the right direction.

Effective ways to get fit

This sounds simple like saying, "do not commit the mistakes that i have stated above." but it's not. It is a bit different. To get fit, you must be aware of some helpful ways.

The effective ways to get fit are as follows:

1. Find a reason and start A reason here refers to the goal that you want to achieve. The beginning is the toughest part but it is also the most important part of a session. You would need a lot of willpower and a practical reason to start. Once you start and notice the changes in your body, you would love to get back to your sessions. You may even look forward to it and smile while thinking about the time when you wanted to quit. Take your time in the beginning. Do not stress too much and work with ease. Get comfortable with the routine and consider recovery sessions - the days when you do not work out.

2. Reflect on your performance Keep a record of your sessions and review them regularly. This will help you to know how much progress you have made. You may review your performance once every month. Reviewing your performance every week is an option too but it may not give you a better idea. When you review your performance, you can anticipate hurdles that you might face in the future like managing your job and family. It is also important to check your behavior. If you remain irritated most of the time then there is a chance that you are not sleeping or eating properly. A session is meant to make you feel good once you have got comfortable with it and not fill you with negative emotions.

3. Trust your instincts This point is applicable if you ever get injured or sick. You might want to "get back in the game" from the point you left but it may not be physically possible. Your instincts may indicate to take it slow as you are still recovering from the injury or illness. If you wish to speed up your recovery then consider physical movement where ever possible like your office or home. Find a reason to walk, stretch, or lift light weight. A lady who just delivered a baby may want to consult her doctor. This point should not at all be confused with making excuses for skipping a session.

4. Join communities Be a part of a fitness group. This may be a dance group or a cycling group. Being a member of such groups motivates you to work hard. Many groups organize competitions among their members too. If you do not see a group around, then make one. You may also be a part of an online group or a YouTube channel that conducts fitness classes over the internet. Even though nothing can beat personal and offline attention, online mode is still a method to try.

5. Create a backup at home Always have a couple of equipment or accessories at home as you may be unable to go out for a session due to weather. Instead of skipping that day or saying that you will cover it up later, you will be able to continue with your routine. You may also keep an eye on a nearby park or ground. In case your gym ever goes out of business or is shut for maintenance, you can go to a nearby park or ground and do your exercise. If you have a sports facility near your home then consider becoming a member there. Try to visit and play some games. Playing a sport refreshes the mind. For those who believe in one-time investment, getting some of the basic equipment like a treadmill or a set of dumbbells is highly recommended.

A session is best designed by a professional but these ways remain effective for everyone.

It is understandable to have confusion related to which workout is best. Here are five workouts that are recommended by Harvard Medical School: Swimming, Tai Chi, Strength training, walking, and kegel exercises. You can read about them on the website of Harvard Medical School.


Get in touch with a professional to get a customized session designed for you. A professional may be a gym trainer, a doctor, or a physiotherapist. Consult your family doctor about making any change to your diet. Once your diet plan settles, stick to it and balance it properly with your sessions. There may be days when you might have to push yourself but know your limits to avoid injury. Try to have a professional with you while pushing yourself and also while trying a new exercise.

That is all for this topic.

If you have anything to contribute then kindly share it in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.



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