The last thing you want to do when exercising is to make some sort of “exercise blunder” derailing your exercise efforts or putting you in exercise time-out for a while.

When first starting out doing a regular exercise routine, you need to remember safety first to avoid causing an injury or putting undue stress and strain on different parts of your body.

Learning to listen to your body and using good common sense can help you sidestep these common exercise mistakes preventing you from practicing the all-important consistency in your physical activities.

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Here are common exercise mistakes many of us tend to make and how to avoid them:

1. Exercising through pain

We’ve all heard the phrase “no pain, no gain.” However, this is not good advice at all, as pain is how your body is trying to tell you to stop doing what you’re doing. When we ignore and fail to listen to pain and keep on exercising through it, we run the risk of seriously injuring ourselves. 

How to avoid this?

It’s really obvious but simply quit exercising whenever you feel pain and assess what it is caused from. Did you pull or sprain a muscle or is there any swelling involved? If the pain does not go away or is getting worse, it is time to see a doctor for further evaluation.

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2. Doing the same exercise over and over again

Don’t get stuck in an exercise rut of doing the same routine each and every day with no variation. That is sort of like putting ourselves on autopilot and taking a nap while the plane does all the work.

The main issue with always doing the same thing for exercise is the risk of overuse. When the same muscle groups are repeatedly used, this puts a lot of stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons involved causing irritation, inflammation, and even stress fractures. 

How to avoid this?

The answer here is simple – cross-train. Mix up your exercise routine.   On some days focus on strength training, other days on aerobics, and don’t forget to practice flexibility. Variety is the spice of life and exercise is no different.

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3. Starting out doing too much too soon

When first starting out getting in shape, some people are a little too overly enthusiastic. Sure, it’s great to be excited about working out, losing some weight, and getting the body you’ve always wanted, but be careful to not do too much too soon.

Going too hard or too fast at the beginning of an exercise regimen can end up with you becoming overly sore, injured, and becoming disillusioned towards physical activity. Lifting weights is one of the main areas of exercise in which using weights too heavy can be extremely risky. 

How to avoid this?

Be realistic on what you can do when undertaking an exercise program.  Even elite athletes started out slowly at one point. It is much better and safer to gradually work yourself up and as you become stronger with more endurance, you’ll soon be taking on more challenging activities than ever before.

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4. Not taking a day off

You are so excited about seeing the positive results from working out that you want to do it every day. But don’t. We all need a day of rest each week and that includes taking a day off from exercise. Again, overuse and potential injuries are the main factors why you need that weekly break.

How to do this?

Choose a certain day or two of the week when you take it easy from exercise. It doesn’t mean you can’t go for a casual walk in the park but just avoid going full throttle like normal. Give your body that needed a break allowing it to recover from the stress of training.

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5. Having poor form or technique

Failing to use the correct form or performing exercises sloppily can set you up for injury and a lack of control of your body. Lifting weights or yoga moves are common ways when an improper form is used that can result in an injury.

How to do this?

Part of doing exercise is to learn how to properly execute and be in charge of bodily movements. Sometimes if we are not trained correctly, are going too fast, or not paying attention, is how sloppy movements or poor form develop. 

If you are unsure of your form, work with a personal trainer in the beginning to learn the correct way of accomplishing exercise moves.