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Forget These Fitness Benchmarks

By Sara Butler

Your body is unique. That's why, when it comes to your health and fitness, the goals you have for yourself are simply yours alone. You cannot compare your physical fitness with others because everyone's body is capable of different things. In short, don't reach for the same goals as everyone else around you and use them as a benchmark in your health and fitness success story. Here are a few of the fitness benchmarks you need to forget about as you charge forward to create the best version of yourself you can.

Doing the Splits

Do you ever watch young gymnasts do the splits on the Olympics and cringe inside? You may not be able to do the splits and the truth is that no matter how hard you work to become flexible, it simply may never happen. That doesn't mean you're not flexible.

Personal trainers agree that splits are not the tell-tale sign that you've achieved maximum flexibility. Instead, you must focus on safe stretches that work to improve flexibility such as lying hamstring stretches, seated butterfly stretches, and inner thigh squat stretches.

Running a Mile Without Walking

Some people think that running a mile without stopping is a great test of fitness, but the truth is that it's the distance you complete that's important, not how you do it. It's important to try to ditch an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to fitness.

Don't feel as if you have to run to get a good workout in. Walking is just as good for you and maybe even better since it's kinder to your joints but still provides you with important health benefits that strengthen your cardiovascular system and helps you to maintain a healthy weight.

If You're Not Sore, Your Workout Wasn't Good

Soreness is not a great gauge for how hard your workout is. When you try something new or up your level of intensity for your workout, you may be sore, but remember that other activities can cause muscle soreness too -- and they may not even include working to increase your physical fitness. Don't rely on your muscle soreness to gauge how hard you work. It's far better to pay attention to the effort you're putting into exercise and the level of exertion you feel to gauge if you went hard enough at the gym or not.

You have to gauge for yourself what works and what doesn't when it comes to fitness. Don't measure your success by the standards of others!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.

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