14 Exercise Mistakes Beginners Make

Get results and stay motivated with your new workout routine by avoiding these common pitfalls (15 Photos)

Jessica Smith on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29AM

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#1: Setting Unrealistic Goals

G. Pace/FilmMagic/Getty Images

a Jessica Smith on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:26AM

If you decide that running a 5K is your goal, but you’ve never run before, trying to finish one by the end of your first week of training isn’t the best idea. ”The biggest mistake that new exercisers make is setting incredibly unattainable goals,” says Samantha Clayton, a certified personal trainer and former Olympic sprinter in Malibu, California. Starting your first week off by going for your first run in years, several days in a row, will most likely have you throwing in the towel by Wednesday.

 

Success strategy: Before you can run, you need to start walking. “Small, simple and easy goals will build your confidence and help you to stick with it,” says Clayton. If, for example, your ultimate goal is to run a 5K but you’ve never run before, break down your larger goal into smaller, more realistic steps. Start off with brisk walking the first week, graduate to a walk/run combo the next, and then eventually progress into running longer distances until you’re ready to race to the finish line of your long term goal.

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