Exercise is great for you, but there are ways to get even more out of your workouts. Here are 11 things you should avoid doing after a workout to make sure you’re building muscle, getting fit, and living the healthiest lifestyle you can:
Forget To Stretch
One of the worst things you can do after a workout is to forget to stretch. Regardless of how intense or simple, your workout is, you need to stretch once you’re finished. Your muscles need to be eased, they need to be relaxed. Think about it – you just ran, jumped, lifted weights for an hour or so. And you just want to walk out of the gym and go home?! No no. Be nice to your body and make time for a post-workout stretch. It’s the only way to properly recover and avoid injuries.
Not Eating Whey Proteins
If you’re going to consume protein powder, you should make sure it’s whey protein. Unlike other powders, whey protein is digested quickly. Which means, it’ll provide you with all the necessary amino acids to benefit your muscles faster.
Another Intensive Workout
You might be trying to lose weight in a short time. We’ve all been there. But that doesn’t mean you should opt for multiple workouts in a day. Being active throughout the day is important, but that doesn’t mean intensely working out three times a day. Or even two times a day. That’s a sure-fire way to wreak havoc on your muscles.
Not Keeping Track Of Your Progress
After a workout, you should track and reflect on your progress. What did you accomplish during that exercise? Did you add more weights to your leg press? Shave some time off your mile run? Write that down so you can actually see that you’re growing stronger. One of the reasons people give up on exercise is because they don’t think they’re progressing. Make sure you’re aware of all your little accomplishments.
Indulge In A Heavy Calorie Meal
You worked out for a couple of hours and now you’re starving. Makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with eating a high-protein/high-fiber meal after a workout. What you don’t want to do is treat yourself to some donuts or three chocolate chip pancakes. Yes, you worked hard and that’s great but rewarding yourself with sugar and a ton of calories isn’t the answer. If anything, it completely cancels out the exercise you put it.
Touch Your Face
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE when you leave the gym. You might have a habit of touching your face (even if you’re not aware of it), but please pay attention to your hands when you’re at the gym – and when you leave the gym. Touching your face with dirty gym hands will cause breakouts; especially if you have sensitive skin. Plus, there are germs at the gym and you don’t want to catch a cold every other month.
Forgetting To Hydrate
Don’t hydrate with sports drinks, soda, or coffee – hydrate with water. Plain and simple water. I’m sure you already know water flushes out toxins, but you probably don’t realize how beneficial it is to your metabolism. Water speeds up your metabolic rate which stops you from over-eating; something you definitely want after a workout.
Waiting To Eat
There’s a lot of back and forth on whether or not you should eat before or after a workout. Personally, I typically go to the gym too early to feel hungry. So, I wait until after I’m done exercising to eat something. The decision is yours but you should DEFINITELY make sure you eat something post-workout. That’s your recovery meal and it’s crucial you don’t wait too long to consume some fast-acting carbs – they’re responsible for repairing your muscles and relaxing your entire system.
Going Crazy On The Foam Roller
Who doesn’t love rolling on a foam roller at the end of an exercise? Everyone. We all love it. But unfortunately, it’s not the best thing to do all the time. You can spend a couple minutes on a foam roller but you don’t want to go crazy. That aggressiveness can actually be counterproductive.
Keeping Your Workout Clothes On
I know how easy it is to keep your workout clothes on after a workout. I’m guilty of this one, too! Workout clothes are just so dang comfortable! But, they’re filled with bacteria. So, don’t sit in your clothes. Take them off and shower when you leave the gym! You don’t want the sweat and oil to impact your skin. That could cause breakouts and irritation.
Sitting Down The Rest Of The Day
Do you think working out in the morning gives you the right to sit down on your butt the rest of the day? It doesn’t. In order to be active and live a healthy lifestyle, you have to make movement a part of your entire day. I’m not saying you should be running a mile every lunch break, but get up, walk around throughout the day. Don’t be stagnant.