Congratulations for putting in the time and effort to exercise! After a tough gym session, you may just want to go home and lounge on the couch. However, what you do immediately after your sweat session can have a big impact on how your body recovers.
Regardless of your fitness level, there’s a chance you are making one of these 8 post-workout mistakes.
Mistake #1: Forgetting to cooldown
Always remember to take a few minutes to get your heart rate back down and do some light stretching. According to The American Heart Association, preventing your body from cooling down can cause you to feel ill or pass-out. You’ve been contracting muscles while training and stretching can help prevent muscle cramping and stiffness.
Mistake #2: Skipping hydration
Your body needs to replace the water it lost. After sessions where you sweat profusely or work out for over an hour, consider having a beverage that replaces electrolytes, such as coconut water. Sports drinks tend to have a lot of sugar, so skip them unless you’re training for an endurance event.
Mistake #3: Waiting to eat
After a hard or long workout, your body needs to replenish and repair. It needs some protein to rebuild muscle and carbohydrates to replace glycogen used. Sports dieticians generally recommend eating within 30 minutes after a workout. If you’re on the go and don’t have access to a solid meal, check out our blog post for ideas, Recipes for DIY Drinks, Gels and Chews.
Mistake #4: Eating a meal high in fat
Eating a meal or snack with a lot of fat can slow down digestion and hamper your recovery. Opt to refuel with mix of lean proteins and carbohydrates.
Mistake #5: Neglecting to record your progress
Every exercise session, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour counts. Using an app on your phone or a workout journal, jot down the date and how many reps you did or how far you ran so you can see just how you are progressing. This can help keep you motivated and avoid hitting a plateau. Keeping track of how much weight you’ve lost and how much muscle you’ve gained can also help keep you motivated. Our GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale measures weight, % body fat, % body water, % muscle mass, and bone density.
Mistake #6: Staying in sweaty clothes
In addition to making you feel chilly, staying in sweaty clothes can lead to rashes, infections, and body acne. Wear moisture wicking clothing to help keep your skin dry and be sure to shower and change after your workout.
Mistake #7: Skimping on sleep
Your body repairs itself and rebuilds muscle while you sleep. Your body will perform much better when it gets adequate amounts of rest.
Mistake #8: Eating processed, sugary treats
After a tough workout, you’ve earned a treat. However, try not to consume more calories than you burned off. Choose a sensible reward, such as frozen yogurt, and monitor your portion sizes. Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale can help you recognize what correct serving sizes look like.
Don’t negate all of your hard work. After you exercise, be sure to help your body recover and maximize the impact of your fitness routine.