Crushing a workout and reaching your daily fitness goals is undoubtedly a great feeling. Embracing the burn, breaking a heavy sweat, and pushing pash benchmarks are all rewarding feats. But what many fail to realize is that progress doesn’t begin and end with the workout. What one does after exercising has a large bearing on overall results. For this reason, we have put together a small list of common post-workout mistakes as well as some insights on how to avoid them. If taken to heart, improvement in these areas can help you greatly on your individual fitness journey.
1. Not Stretching
As your muscles work, lactic acid builds up— a compound responsible for muscle fatigue and soreness. Stretching helps break up lactic acid, ultimately helping with soreness in the days after your workout. In addition, stretching improves blood circulation to the muscles which helps in recovery. Other benefits of stretching include:
- Better range of motion
- Injury prevention
- Increased muscular coordination
- Increased flexibility
- Mind-body connection
Stretching doesn’t require an unreasonable amount of time. Aim for 5-10 minutes after your workout, holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds. If you feel pain during the stretch, ease up a bit until the movement is comfortable.
2. Skipping a meal
During a workout, your body will utilize resources that need to be replenished. Consuming a proper amount of carbs, protein, and other nutrients after a workout is essential to achieving your fitness goals. Fueling your body after exercise stimulates protein synthesis, improves recovery, and works to enhance performance for your next workout.
The ideal is to eat within 45 minutes of a workout but go no longer than two hours. But remember, the primary goal of your post-workout feast is to supply your body with the proper fuel. What you eat is very important. Choose easily digestible foods for faster nutrient absorption while focusing on quality, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins. It is also important to note that protein shakes should come second to real, protein-rich foods. A meal of scrambled eggs and whole-wheat toast will usually be a better option than powders or protein bars if you have the time.
One last thing to keep in mind is not to overeat after your workout. Many individuals overestimate their calorie burn and undue all of their progress with a hefty, unhealthy meal. Try to keep your post-workout meal moderate and clean.
3. Not Hydrating Properly
We lose a lot of fluids when we expend energy. This isn’t a problem unless they are consciously replenished. Water is extremely important for our health, improving our well-being in the following ways:
- Helps create saliva
- Body temperature regulation
- Helps maximize physical performance
- Aids in digestion
- Helps with nutrient absorption
- Improves blood oxygen circulation
- Boosts energy
- Improves mood
- Benefits skin and hair
Of course, this is just a shortlist. Proper hydration is crucial for optimal body function. When well-hydrated, our bodies will process food more efficiently, lend us more energy, keep us healthy, and benefit muscle growth. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water during and after your workout.
Get the Most Out of Your Workouts at Performance One
A solid post-workout routine is almost as important as the workout itself. Keep these insights in mind and you are sure to see better results. At Performance One we provide athlete training and guidance for those who want to reach their fitness benchmarks. Whether a complete beginner or seasoned athlete, our gym has a place for you. For more information on how to become part of the P1 family, contact us at (801) 769-6779 today. We are here to help you.