Six post-workout mistakes to avoid
When we put time and effort into our workout programme we want to see results. Sometimes we are so focused on the act of working out that we overlook certain things we do after exercising that can sometimes hinder our progress.
Here are six things that many of us do and ideas on how to fix them:
1. Staying in your sweaty workout gear
Since there is bacteria literally living all over your body, wearing sweaty gym clothes too long can cause all sorts of problems. One problem that will be noticed quickly is your smell. Unfortunately those wicking fabrics that deflect moisture also absorb body oils and the body odour that comes with them. As tempting as it may be to walk around town in your sweaty gear – take it off. Rinse or hang it out to dry until it can be washed, which will prevent bacteria growth. Also, do not store sweaty clothes in your gym bag or the washer if you want them to keep smelling fresh after washing. When that’s not possible, adding a little baking soda or vinegar to your wash can help take away funky smells.
2. Forgetting to eat
Even if you are trying to cut calories or lose weight, you still need to eat after your workout. Energy stores are depleted after working out so you need to replenish your body to build muscle and recover. Try a mixture of protein and carbohydrates no less than 30 minutes after exercising. Post-workout, if you’re not consuming enough food, especially protein, you may not see the results you desire.
3. Eating the wrong foods
Fish sandwiches and nachos might sound like an amazing cheat meal and may satisfy the ravenous hunger you feel after a tough workout however they can also wipe out the fitness progress you made while exercising. All that high fat food slows down your digestion and is the exact opposite of what you want to happen after doing 100 jump squats. The goal after exercise is to replenish your body’s energy and decrease the amount of fat your body stores.
4. Being sedentary all day because you worked out
Just because you worked out for one hour does not mean you can then sit down and watch TV all day. Make movement a part of your day to day lifestyle even if you exercised already. Take the long walk to work, use the stairs, get up every hour for water, clean the house, fold laundry or declutter your closet. Try and incorporate plenty of non-exercise activity. It will make all the difference.
5. Overdoing it with your foam roller
While foam rolling can be very popular and beneficial – especially with runners – it’s important that you don’t overdo it. Being too aggressive can be counterproductive and cause muscle and nerve trauma. You don’t have to give it up, however make sure you follow recommended instructions.
6. Skimping on sleep
Our bodies recover the most when we sleep, so proper rest is important. A few nights’ sleep loss won’t have much impact on performance but consistent inadequate sleep can result in changes in hormone levels, muscle recovery and mood. Not getting enough sleep can cause decreased muscle mass, slower muscle recovery, and weight gain. Make sure to get plenty of sleep especially if you are training hard or dealing with high-stress situations.
Don’t forget these tips and B-Active For Life!
Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Look for B. ActiveForLife on Facebook