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Exercise is more difficult for disabled people because fitness is not accessible but even though fitness is more difficult for disabled people that doesn’t mean we are exempt from it because it’s just as important as it is for able-bodied people. Fitness has always been encouraged in my family but it wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I realized I gained weight and need to make a change because my life would have only gotten harder if I didn’t. As a disabled person I took PE classes in high school because it was requirement but the class, I had to take was a complete joke because all disability was treated as one and I didn’t learn that much from it. Exercise was a huge learning curve for me because I had never even thought about creating my own exercise routine and in the beginning, I was doing it all wrong because I was desperate to get results and made some mistakes that I am not proud of. In this post, I am going to talk about some fitness mistakes I made when I first started working that made it difficult to get results, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did..
Doing too much cardio– When it comes to fitness a lot of people obsess over cardio workouts and do nothing else because think that’s all you have to do to get your dream body. Cardio is beneficial for your heart and by no means am I am telling not to do cardio but as a disabled person I cannot do as much cardio as an able-bodied person because my body is not built that way. The very first workouts I did were high intensity cardio workouts and my workout consisted of walking two miles every single day and then come home to do an ab workout. A two-mile walk is totally doable for a vast majority of able-bodied people without risking injury but when you have a physical disability that might possibility be too much exercise for your body to handle. The problem with my cardio workout wasn’t that I could never train myself to walk that far but it’s that I wasn’t being realistic with my goals and forced myself to walk long distances on day one when I should have been taking it slow and kept increasing the length I walked too quickly to where it got to the point it was unachievable. Cardio is important for your health, but when you are disabled, I cannot stress enough how important is to not compare yourself to able-bodied people or attempt to workout at the same intensity as them. Cardio workouts are good but if you are doing too much it can lead to burn out and other health issues.
Lifting too heavy- There is a lot of fitness advice on the Internet, and some of it is good but not everything you see on the Internet about fitness holds any truth and you should run from any account that tell you to lift as heavy as possible to get results. Today I lift fifteen pounds which is a perfect amount of weight for me because I have been working out for over ten years and have built my strength to be able to lift that weight but if I would have picked up a fifteen-pound dumbbell when I first started, I would have injured myself. It takes time to be able to lift heavier weights and I don’t know anyone who lifts much more than five pounds on day one because we all have to start somewhere. One of the biggest mistakes I think I have made in my fitness is starting with a weight that was too heavy. When I started working out, I fell into the trap of thinking that if you are not lifting heavy you will not get results so I started with nine pounds which I could totally do today in my sleep but five years ago I should have been lifting much less than that. I am a huge advocate for lifting weight that challenge you because without challenge you don’t create change but it’s important you do it safely. Heavy weight can get you more toned, but you are not getting more benefit if you are lifting too heavy because correct form is important and may in fact injury yourself.
The foods you eat matter- When comes to exercise a lot of people are very consistent with doing their exercise routines but when it comes to nutrition sometimes people don’t take that as seriously. If you do high- intensity exercise a few days a week you will be able to eat more calories and not gain weight than someone who doesn’t exercise but sometimes people, make the mistake of think that because they exercise, they can eat whatever they want. Every person who exercises is going to have different nutrition needs and someone who is lifting might have different nutrition goals than someone who does high-intensity cardio but the foods you eat do matter. When I started exercising, I did not take nutrition seriously and was frustrated with my results and thought that my exercises didn’t work when it really was my poor food choices. It is important that you do your workouts on a consistent basis because you are not going to gain muscle by never lifting weights but at the same time you have to make sure you are fueling your body to support your goals because seventy to eighty percent of how you look and feel comes down to your food choices.
Exercising too much– When it comes to getting result in your fitness sometimes people wrongly believe that you have to exercise seven days a week to get the results because more is better right? Before I had hip replacement surgery was forced to exercise less, I use to think that but now I am realizing that rest days are just as important as the workout. Exercise is so good for your health but there is such a thing as over-training and doing too much exercise because it’s through the rest periods where are bodies repair themselves and you can’t honestly expect to crush your workout if you are killing yourself at the gym seven days a week. I exercise a lot less because I have less mobility and I think I have gained more strength than I ever have because I am not changing my workout on a daily basis and giving myself more time to rest.
Not doing beginners workout- The workout routine I do today is very advanced, and I would never recommend to a total beginner, but it has not always been that way and there was a time when I had to do planks on my knees. When I first started working out, I was total beginner like, but I refused to accept that and went straight into doing advanced workout because I thought they got you results faster. Advanced workouts are harder and burn more calories but that does mean that everyone should skip the basics because it’s through the easier simpler workouts where you build strength to be able to do the harder stuff safely. When I first started working out, I technically could do advanced moves, but I struggled a lot more than I should have and it was probably not very safe. Do not be afraid of being a beginner because even personal trainers who work out more than that average person were once beginners. My biggest regret is skipping the beginner workouts and I wish that someone would have told me that there is no shame in being a beginner because that would have saved me a lot of struggle.
Doing a workout I hate– When I first started exercising, I did a lot of cardio because I thought that is what you are supposed to be doing but I hated every minute every of it. I kept doing it because I knew it was good for me and it wasn’t until I realized that you don’t have to totally hate fitness and you can make fitness fun. There are a lot of exercises that can burn a lot of calories but that doesn’t mean everyone should be doing them because if you have to force yourself to do a workout you are not doing the right one and probably won’t stick to it, very long.
If you are thinking about starting a fitness journey it sometimes can feel intimating because the gym has a lot of fancy equipment that you may not know how to use and there are all kinds of fitness advice out there that it can be difficult to know what to believe. I have made mistakes in my fitness, but these mistakes don’t make me a complete failure because without these mistakes I would not be at the fitness level I am today. Fitness is a big learning curve because you have to learn what types of workouts that you enjoy and how much weight you should be lifting and it’s okay if you struggle with at first. Most people that start working out have no idea what they are doing and that is okay because no one expects you to have it all figured out on day one. Fitness is not a one size fits all approach because we all have different goals and even though your best friend is getting great result from a specific type of workout that doesn’t mean you will have the same experience. What mistakes have you made in your fitness?
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