6 Things You Should Never Do After A Workout
When the results are positive, the time you spend sweating-it-out in the gym tends to get all the credit—but it shouldn’t. Your post-workout habits like: good nutrition, recovery, and other post-workout rituals, can have a BIG impact on maximizing your physical and mental results.
Avoid these post-workout mistakes to get the most out of your fitness efforts and maximize your results:
1. Don’t Skip Stretching
Cool-downs are definitely the easiest part of the workout to skip. You may be on your lunch hour, and you need to shower, or get back to the office, or pick the kids up from school.
Whatever the reason, if you’re rushing out of the gym after a workout, you’re missing out on an important part of the recovery process.
It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant; just a way to dial it back and slow things down to a resting level. It could mean doing some simple yoga moves, using a foam roller, or even walking through an easy cool-down on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes.
When you don’t facilitate muscle recovery with proper cool-down or stretching, injuries can occur. Knowing how to stretch properly for your body is key. Working with a personal trainer, or consulting with a trusted fitness instructor, can help you find out what is best for your body.
2. Don’t Check Your Phone Right Away
Hopefully you’re not on your phone during your workout… every moment you’re on your phone while workout is a moment you’re not working out. If you’re on your phone it means you’re distracted, and you’re not putting in maximum effort, which will cost you results in the long-term.
Giving your brain a little breathing room during and after your workouts will maximize the physical and mental benefits of your sweat session. Emails, texts, and new Instagram posts are not going anywhere.
Take as much time as you can after your workout to soak up and enjoy the endorphin-induced high!
HOT TIP: If you need your phone handy to keep track of your exercises, use it in aeroplane mode — this is a great strategy to break the habit of absent-mindedly checking Instagram between sets.
3. Don’t Hang Out In Your Workout Clothes
Get out of your workout clothes as soon as possible.
You may not finish your workout dripping in sweat, but it’s still there.
Hanging out in sweaty clothes could potentially compromise your immune system, it could put you at risk for skin or fungal infections, and, let’s be honest, sweaty, sticky clothes are just gross. Even if your clothes dry off when you’re running your errands, the odors and bacteria are still there.
If you can’t shower right away, at least bring a change of clothes; including socks and underwear.
4. Don’t Indulge Or Binge On The Wrong Foods
You just burned a bunch of calories…so you deserve a treat, right? Well maybe, but it’s important to give your body what it needs; not necessarily what you want.
To help with recovery, you definitely want to give your body nourishment within a 30-minute window following your workout. But that doesn’t mean you should pig out on pizza, donuts, or processed, ‘bad-for-you’ foods.
Eating after a workout is all about replacing the calories you’ve used up. It’s important to replenish the glycogen and electrolytes that have been depleted during your exercise.
Eating protein after a workout is a must for muscle recovery; particularly after weight training.
If you don’t eat after a workout, you can end up fatigued, battling low blood sugar, and inhibiting your body’s repair process.
5. Don’t Stop Drinking Water
It’s important to continue to drink water after your workout is complete.
Water hydrates all parts of the body. When the body’s cells are not properly hydrated, they are unable to perform, and, in the case of muscle cells, grow to their best ability.
Also, proper hydration after a workout can aid in reducing inflammation and reducing joint pain.
6. Don’t Drink Alcohol
Unfortunately, the fact is: alcohol is not good for you. And drinking alcohol immediately after exercise is one of the worst things you can do for your body.
It will slow your recovery, and reduce the benefits of your workout.
After a great workout, take a night off booze, or at least wait a few hours before tilting the elbow.
Still feel like you need more direction? Click here for a free 15-minute nutrition consultation with one of our Nutritionists.
For more healthy tips, recipes, and motivation check out our library of blogs.