Walk into Strom Thurmond Fitness Center and you’ll see students and faculty on all different machines, determined to stay in shape. As we all know, it is not easy to follow a strict schedule at the gym, and when we do go, it’s common to practice improper workout techniques. Some mistakes include working out while wearing makeup, working out on an empty stomach and not stretching before cardio. These faux pas are considered unhealthy but new studies show that these practices don’t damage the body as much as we have believed them to.
Starting With a Clean Slate
For ladies trying to keep their bodies toned, squeezing in a visit to the gym amidst classes, meetings and a social life can be difficult. That’s why some women workout with full makeup on, even if they are going to sweat it off. Any dermatologist or health professional will say this is bad because, not only can foundation clog the pores, but physical activity increases the risk of breakouts because pores are more exposed. While it is beneficial to remove makeup prior to working out, this is unrealistic with a busy college lifestyle. Think of it this way, it is far better to exercise for 45 minutes in full makeup than to not exercise at all due to fearing the sudden appearance of a pimple. As long as you wash your face after the workout, you should be fine.
Another gym myth is the danger of not stretching before exercising, especially running. Stretching warms up the muscles and increases flexibility to reduce the chance of cramping. Some people, including me, skip “warming up” in favor of claiming a treadmill before they’re all taken. According to some doctors, stretching before running won’t prevent injury, but it won’t cause it either. If you know your leg might cramp up without stretching prior to exercise, by all means do your routine, but if you don’t feel like warming up, it isn’t a problem.
When it comes to meals and exercise, there are two food trends that could damage your workout. Working out after eating a full meal or working out on an empty stomach could cause cramping or symptoms of illness. Nutritionists recommend quality carbohydrates, lean protein, heart-healthy fats and fluids prior to working out. Light meals or protein bars are the best option before participating in physical activity.
Making the effort to exercise regularly is a huge step towards a healthy lifestyle. There’s no such thing as a perfect workout so as long as you’re getting some form of physical activity, minor mistakes won’t affect your stride.
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