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It's common knowledge that fitness is one of the most important keys to living healthy. It's no secret that staying in good physical shape is important for one's body. It's also essential to understand common mistakes that may seem small, but in the long run, can hinder your physical fitness progress and negatively impact your body. 

There are four parts to healthy living: exercise, nutrition, rest and genetics. Three out of the four can be controlled and, if done properly, can help you lead a full and healthy life.

Here is a list of seven mistakes that people most often make:

PROCRASTINATION

We've all heard or have been guilty of saying, "I'll start working out on Monday." The hardest part of working out is going to the gym or setting aside the time if you workout at home. However, once you do get there or find the time, you're motivated. 

It also helps to have a workout partner. Why? Workout buddies help motivate you. How? If someone else is relying on you to go to the gym or show up for a hike (for example), you'll make more of an effort and be more likely to actually go.

A workout buddy should provide motivation, not distraction, to maximize each other's potential.

Try working out during a lunch break or waking up earlier in the morning. Also, bring your children and spouses with you and make it a family affair.

Make at least 30 minutes for yourself every day. If you don't spend this time taking care of yourself, you won't be fit to take care of anyone else.

CRASH DIETING

Many people think that by skipping meals, they're cutting calories, but what you are really doing is putting your body into survival mode and it starts storing fat - ouch!

The most efficient way of losing weight is to eat - maintaining a balanced eating lifestyle, with plenty of variety. Small, healthy meals throughout the day will help increase your metabolism (burns more calories) and keep you from getting hungry.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS

So many people start off exercising and expect to see results in just a couple of weeks. It typically takes four to six weeks to see results with a consistent healthy eating plan and exercise regimen.

You should not get discouraged by the process. Getting and staying healthy is a lifelong commitment, and it may take time to get where you need to be - just keep working at it!

OVER-TRAINING

Another way you can negatively react to results that are slow in coming is to over train. Over-training can be dangerous, and it can keep your muscles from developing.

Taking it slow is a good way to ensure that your body can keep up with the exercise regimen you've set for yourself. For example, if you are beginning a weight training program, start off small and work up to heavier weights as your muscles adapt and get stronger. Be sure to incorporate rest days because these are just as important as workout days - it gives your body time to recuperate, allowing your muscles to grow.

UNPROFESSIONAL ADVICE

Proper form (how you use your body to do an activity) is crucial. Without it, your body is not getting the full benefit from the exercise and you can seriously hurt yourself. Many people take advice from others who are not certified and end up giving incorrect advice.

It's recommended that you get professional advice from certified specialists - primary care physician and a personal trainer.

RELYING ON FALSE MOTIVATORS

False motivators, like expensive equipment or clothes are motivational until the newness wears off.

Don't waste your money on a piece of equipment that will be used for a month and then collect dust in a corner somewhere. You might be suprised to find items you have lying around the house that can be used for a variety of activities, such as canned goods, or water bottles filled with sand acting as your hand weights.

So, here is my suggestion - save your money!

BEING ASHAMED

Too many people don't want to go to a gym because they often feel that they're being judged by others. Whether it's for their weight, fitness level or how much they can lift, people worry that they're not as good as the other people they see at the gym and that others are judging them.

STOP worrying about what other people think and concentrate on why YOUR at the gym.

Everyone is there for the same reason - to get in shape. The people at the gym who are lifting, say, heavy weights, or are running long distances on the treadmill weren't always like that. Just like you, they had to start somewhere, and they aren't going to judge you for trying.