As you know regular exercise is good for the body and mind, but diving head first into an advanced exercise programme is not encouraged. If you are a beginner, then your body is not prepared for the type of strenuous exercises involved in an advanced program. As a result, engaging in an exercise programme with little foresight and planning can lead to burnout, frustration and injury.

If you want to maximise the benefits of your work out then you should start with a combination of motivation and correct information. Here are 5 common workout mistakes which you can easily avoid.

1. Skipping the warm-up

Muscles need time to adjust to the demands placed on them during exercise. So before hitting the gym or jumping into your intense regular cardio workout, you should first take a few minutes to brisk walk, jog, cycle or do whatever you choose to, to prepare the body for heavier activity. Because warmed up muscles and ligaments greatly reduce the risk of muscle injury and increase the effectiveness of your workout.

2. Skipping the cool-down

Let your heart rate come close to the normal range before going to take a shower after the workout or before leaving the gym. This will reduce your risk of injury and stiffness, since it will give you a few minutes to incorporate some relaxation and stretching movements into your routine.

3. Not stretching

Flexible muscles are far less likely to be pulled than stiff muscles. Stretch before a heavy workout or after your workout as warming down. Never stretch a muscle without warming up first, to further reduce your risk of injury. Regular stretching greatly increases your flexibility.

4. Waiting until you are thirsty to drink

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty because you are already dehydrated at that point. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout.

5. Being a Weekend Warrior

If you don’t exercise during the week and think that you will make it all up at the end of the week, then it will not help you to lose weight. For weight loss, it's more effective to sustain a moderate and regular workout routine with smaller gaps between workouts, than to have intense and long workouts focused only over the weekends and with longer gaps between workouts.