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5 bad habits to fix in your gym routine

Make the most of your time in the gym by applying these easy fixes to these common mistakes
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2 min
If you’re hitting the gym on a regular basis, you’re already ahead of the game. But if you want to get the most out of your workout, you’ll want to avoid these common bad habits too.

Focus on yourself
Exercising is a personal thing and that means your attention should be intimately focused on you and only you.

Avoid the distractions of looking at others or comparing yourself to those around you. You don’t need to up your weights or reps just to impress others. You’re working out for you; you need to work at your own pace to test your limits and achieve your goals.

Not stretching
As you curl and flex throughout your workout, your muscles are constantly contracting. This means that they’re left in a shortened state at the end – that’s the tight feeling.

Stretching after your workout helps to reset that. Static stretching, holding 5-8 moves for 30 seconds each, will also help make sure that next-day soreness feels less intense.

You can also stretch before your workout if you need a little warm up. Dynamic stretches, moving positions knee raises or lunges, help to keep the body limber so that you can more easily dive into the rest of your workout.

Skipping your workout
One of the true secrets of getting into great shape is to create, and stick to, a routine. Even if you can only squeeze in 30 minutes every couple of days, you’re still going to see results.

Skipping your workout because you’re too sore, too tired or too busy doesn’t do you any good. You’ll actually be doing yourself a favour by adding in some light activity on the days you really don’t feel like it.

So, if you need to go easy one day, do so. Chances are your workout will do wonders for your mind and body, even on the toughest days.

No routine maintenance
Doing the same workout routine every gym session isn’t going to challenge you. Your body will eventually acclimate to your workout and your results will plateau.

Whether you use the internet to find new exercises or workout plans, collaborate with a personal trainer, or just work a different routine of your own creation, make sure to keep your body guessing.

Measure twice, cut once
One of the sure-fire ways to lose your drive is to lose track of the progress you’re making.

Taking a minute or two to quickly jot down what you’ve been doing is a simple way to stay engaged with your fitness plan.

Note the days you hit the gym, exercises you did and both weight and reps. Up the weights and reps over time and track again. Not only will you have guidelines to keep you in check, but you’ll also be able to see how far you’ve come.

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