First of all I will tell you when I’m active, it’s makes for some of the best times of my life.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  If I’m dumb about it, though, I will have some regrets.  Let me tell you all about my workout mistakes so you don’t do the same things.  Really, you should listen to these.  Now that I am thinking about all of this, please be kind in your judgement of me.  I’m not stupid all the time.

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Not wearing adequate footwear.

One of the biggest (albeit stupid) barriers to working out for me over the years has been that I’m not wearing my sneakers.  Dumb, I know.  Just put them on, already.  Well, one day I had the brilliant idea to just start doing stuff in place in front of the tv, or doing little laps around the downstairs, without my shoes.  If I wasn’t going out of the house I didn’t see a reason to put them on.  Yeah, it wasn’t comfortable, but I was able to get moving spontaneously.


workout mistakesFirst was my brilliant thought that doing the Wii Fit without shoes was perfectly ok to do.  It got me moving, so how bad could it be?  I got really good at some of those games, but crap. 
Plantar Fasciitis set in and I remained in denial for a while that the cause was my stupid idea of going without shoes. I reasoned that since it didn’t hurt WHILE I was doing the exercise, it couldn’t be from that. So, I kept at it for too long (I’m embarrassed to say how long, so we’ll just leave it at that). That was a definite plus, I was moving more!  The minus was that my feet paid for it.

See how badly I wanted to be active?  At least give me that, ok?    Each morning my ankles were stiff and the soles of my feet hurt like crazy.  It kicked in as soon as I stepped out of bed. Once I finally got real with myself about the need for shoes on the wii fit, I stopped doing it, and wouldn’t you know, my feet felt better!
The Walking Company

Not stretching

Ever hear of the “IT Band”?  I didn’t until mine hurt.  It’s the tendon that runs down the length of your outer leg from the pelvis down to just below the knee.  It can be really painful when you’re inactive.  It can also become a problem when you are active but your alignment is out of whack, or you’re overstretching/overtensing the your buttock muscles (probably from my Wii fit bike exercise addiction).

workout mistakes - not stretching
Photo by Max Nikhil Thimmayya on Pexels.com

Had I just made a little time to stretch or do certain yoga postures, I could have made myself a little happier.  Live and learn.

There’s also the metatarsalgia (translation: pain in the ball of the foot) you can get when you don’t stretch your hamstrings, calf muscles, and achilles tendon.  I really really wish I’d known about my risk for this sooner, it was just waiting to happen to me (see also “not wearing adequate footwear” – I’m such an idiot).

Not listening to my body (pain really does mean something’s wrong!)

Oh, I could go on here.  I’ll narrow it down to the worst two instances when this happened.

First, remember that metatarsalgia I mentioned?  Well, it didn’t need to be so bad.  I had been seriously killin’ it with my Fitbit back in 2017.  I was hitting 10-15 thousand steps pretty much every day.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic and I wish I could relive it!

Problem was, I was out there jogging and my whole body felt great, except my foot.  Here’s my thinking on that one:  “Well, it hurts when I’m jogging, but what harm can it really do?  If it was harming me I wouldn’t be able to run, would I?”.  YES, dummy it’s harming you if it keeps hurting.  Stop doing it and tell your doctor.

Here’s what happens when you ignore that stuff:  bursitis, metatarsalgia, and damage to the nerve endings in your foot.  Don’t be like me, please.

workout mistakesThe other time in my life when I ignored what my body was saying (really, screaming) was when I was shoveling dirt (heavy lifting, not just a little gardening shovel).  I was feeling like Wonder Woman, scooping dirt from a truck and bringing it out to our yard, when “Aaack”.  Something in my shoulder felt like it tore.  It hurt, but I could still move it.  Sheesh, this keeps getting more embarrassing as I write. 

Torn rotator cuffs are what you get when you shovel heavy loads of dirt and aren’t strong enough for it.  Who doesn’t stop when they tear their rotator cuff?  This fool, that’s who. Newly married, I didn’t want my new hubbie to think I was going to expect him to do all the work around the yard, so I kept at it and didn’t say anything. 

Don’t Be Like Me

Are you new to working out?  Definitely use what I’m telling you so you don’t do the same things.  I’ve learned so much from my many mistakes, I guess that makes me sort of wise (that’s what I like to tell myself).

If you want to start running, run.  Want to do yard work? Absolutely go for it.  Like doing exercise games like the the Wii Fit?  Then do it, by all means.  If you’re looking for ideas to pick up and move, you certainly can get it done. Be smart about it, though.  Just be sure to remember to wear proper shoes and stretch.  And, goodness gracious, for the love of all things holy, listen to your body!

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