Going to the gym is a great way to keep in shape during the off season, especially during the winter months when it's less appealing to exercise outdoors.
We tend to get into a routine at the gym which can be good, but it's important to avoid common pitfalls that can lead to injury such as pulled muscles, resulting in decreased chances for success.
Consider the following to help keep you exercising properly and consistently:
- Is your fitness goal realistic? Every body is different and therefore individual goals will vary. Set small incremental benchmark targets that are realistically attainable. Achieving these small goals will add up quickly and you'll stay motivated by your success. Work with your coach or trainer to determine your goals.
- Paying attention to posture? Many fitness activities at the gym, including cardio machines and weightlifting, require proper posture. This is incredibly important for skeletal and core health, and also to avoid injury such as pulled muscles and strain on the spine. Shoulders back, core pulled in, chin up! (Read more about posture from Dr. Urban).
- Lifting the proper amount of weight? If you are lifting too little weight, you're not likely to achieve desired results. Lifting too much weight, on the other hand, can be very risky. The muscles you are trying to tone have limits to their lifting capacity. Ask a trainer at the gym what the proper weight is for you to lift in order to attain your goals.