There is no disputing the value of physical activity. It helps with weight control, combats diseases, boosts your energy level and improves strength, balance and endurance. As a sum, the benefits of exercise add up to improved mobility.
Until they don’t.
While exercise is good for you, it also needs to be done properly to improve your ability to actually move. When you’re not working out correctly, you develop habits that do more harm than good.
Here is a look at five bad exercise habits that can cost you your mobility:
Skipping the stretching
If you’re not stretching before you begin your exercises, you’re putting your mobility at risk. Exercise can be hard on your muscles, ligaments and tendons–and actually cause them to stiffen and shorten, which limits your body’s ability to move as well as you need it to.
Spending five to 10 minutes stretching before you start your exercise routine makes it more likely that your muscles, ligaments and tendons will be ready for the pressure they are about to endure. Stretching also helps keep you limber and flexible, which are both critical to your ability to move well.
Everyone has been there. They start working out and figure that if some exercise is good, more must be better.
When you push yourself too far and too fast, you’re actually doing more harm than good–you’re overtraining. Overtraining occurs when you don’t give your body the time and rest it needs to recover, and its effects can cost you your mobility.
When you overtrain, you might feel tired all the time, lose strength and performance, get sick more frequently and even gain weight.
So don’t overtrain. Instead, make sure to give your body the break it needs after exercising.
OK, so you know about the dangers of overtraining. But what about undertraining?
Undertraining occurs when you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. It’s typically caused by a lack of consistency, intensity and intention. It’s going for a walk one day–and then waiting eight days to go for another. It’s sitting on the stationary bike–and then spending most of your time relaxing and chatting on the phone instead of pedaling.
Undertraining puts your mobility at risk mostly because it’s a waste of time. You’re not pushing yourself. You’re not building strength or endurance. You’re not doing anything truly constructive to improve your ability to move well.
The best way to avoid undertraining is to find a friend to exercise with. A workout partner can keep you motivated, push you and make it more fun.
Focusing on the wrong things
Beach muscles are great–but you don’t really need them. After all, bulging biceps and a six-pack of abs won’t necessarily help with your mobility.
Instead, talk to your healthcare professional about exercises that will actually help you become more mobile. It could be as easy as working with a chair or stretching. Focus on the things that matter the most.
Doing the same exercises over and over and over
If you are exercising correctly, your body should be consistently challenged. Over time, you should be able to walk farther for longer periods of time. You should be able to go up more steps without taking a break. And you should feel yourself getting stronger.
But to get the best out of your body, you can’t rest on your laurels. Once an exercise gets easier–once you’ve reached your goals–it’s time to switch things up and incorporate new exercises. Otherwise your body will get used to your routine and stop improving.
Some people find themselves doing the same exercises over and over due to a lack of mobility. If instability is holding you back from changing things up, maybe you need to try a next-generation mobility aid: the HurryCane®. Pick one up today to get our best deal ever.
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