Is exercise a regular part of your life? If it isn’t then you’re leaving a big gap in your overall personal development. And if it is, then you know that exercising right is as important as exercising at all. And by ‘right’ we’re talking about exercising in ways that challenge but don’t harm your body. There’s a veritable mushrooming of personal and fitness trainers all over the place, so it’s not hard to get good advice. But just the same, we thought we’d give you a head’s up on the most common fitness mistake beginners and ‘old hats’ alike tend to make.

This article is from the blog site Bangkok Personal Training. We’ve reprinted it here in full for your convenience.

6 Common Fitness Mistakes for Women and Men

by Rich Thurman III B.Sc, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for then check out these common fitness mistakes made by men and women in gyms all over the world.

1. Missing your post workout snack

Not fueling your muscles after a workout is a common mistake. Your body needs a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Eating a healthy mix of these nutrients within 30 minutes of your workout will help your body begin the recovery process. The window of opportunity is about 15 to 90 minutes post workout, but the sooner the better.

2. Too much cardio and not enough weights

Women especially tend to rely too heavily on cardio without weight training. Cardio does help in the fat burning process, but tends to leave people looking thin and flabby because it does little for developing muscle. If you’re looking to shape and sculpt your body you’ll need some muscle tone and weights must be included in your routine.

3. Not resting enough

Rest is essential to your gains in muscle and fat loss. Heavy or high intensity workouts on consecutive days do more to hamper your progress than anything. Four back to back days of high intensity exercise or heavy weights doesn’t give your body enough recovery time, which is stressful on the body. 48 hours should be observed between training the same muscle group heavily. Not only will your muscles be able to repair themselves, but you will get more out of your next workout.

4. Not eating enough

Many people, especially women trying to lose weight, make the mistake of eating less once they’ve undertaken a workout regime. Eating too little doesn’t give your body then necessary energy it needs to be able to exercise hard. Active women who exercise 30 -60 minutes daily require 1800 to 2100 calories per day and these calories should be dispersed between snacks and main meals.

5. Doing the same old cardio routine

Monotonous cardio at the same pace every time doesn’t do much for the body. The body adapts quickly and needs constant stimulus. Try interval training. Interval training has been shown to have an awesome effect on the body’s ability to burn fat. The unique advantage of doing interval training is the after burn effect, helping you burn additional calories during the 24 to 36 hours after your workout.

6. Not lifting heavy enough

This tends to happen more with women as most women fear lifting heavy will make them big. In reality, the only way to change the way your body looks is to really push your muscles to new limits. Body shape is generally determined by type II muscle fibers which are the muscles required for power (these are the muscles that create the leg shape and development of sprinters and other power based athletes). Lifting light works mainly type I muscle fibers which are responsible for endurance. Don’t neglect your type II muscle fibers if you’re looking to shape up.

So do you have a fitness routine? If you do, clue us in on what you love about it. And if you don’t? What would it take to inspire you to start one? Leave a comment and let us know.