Workout Mistakes That Increase Chances of Getting Sick

Julie Shenkman
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Staying healthy during extreme weather or times of stress can be tough, and you may be tempted to put in extra time at the gym to keep your body in top condition. However, there are a few workout mistakes that can actually be detrimental to your health even though you may think you're doing the right thing. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid during the busy season.

Don't Miss Your Yoga Class

Yoga does far more than increase your flexibility and help your muscles feel better. It also boosts your immune system and decreases your stress hormones when you attend class regularly. The relaxation response that's stimulated by yoga lowers the cytokines that can promote inflammation and mess up your immune system. Even when your schedule backs up, don't succumb to the workout mistake of crossing your yoga class off your calendar. Still make sure to grab your mat to stay healthy.

Don't Overdo Your Workout

Another workout mistake is based on the belief that only a lengthy exercise session of an hour or more is worthwhile. Actually, short workouts may be better for your health than longer ones. Studies show that a few very brief walks during the day are better for your blood pressure than longer ones. Overdoing your workout can have negative effects on your health as well. The result of this workout mistake can result in a compromised immune system as your brain responds to long workouts as stress factors, responding accordingly. Take breaks frequently during a longer workout, and look for opportunities for intermittent activity throughout the day.

Eat After Exercising

If you're trying to fit into a special outfit for the holidays or another special occasion, you may succumb to another workout mistake, that of fasting after you exercise. In particular, your muscles need you to consume protein soon after a resistance or strength-focused workout to repair the small amounts of damage done to them during the workout.

Exercise Regularly

Heading to the gym on a "sometimes" basis is one of the greatest workout mistakes you can make. Not only do you run a greater risk of injury by exercising infrequently, but you can also sabotage your immune system. Studies show that people who exercise most days have a much greater ability to fight off the common cold than those who don't. This occurs because exercise summons immune system cells into your bloodstream, where they circulate through your body fighting the bacteria and viruses that are trying to take hold. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy.

Avoiding workout mistakes is a key element in your quest to remain healthy. Give your immune system the boost it needs by keeping up your workouts, especially yoga, but in moderation and as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

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