What do you do after you exercise?
If you usually go home and sit on the couch. Or, if you exercise in the morning, you shower, change and head to work. Do those habits sound familiar?
Common mistakes people make after exercise!
Getting to the fitness center is the first step. Then you need to make it through the workout. That’s all you need to do to see results. Well, not exactly. What you do immediately after your activities can also impact how quickly you recover and the fitness results you see. Avoid these common post-workout mistakes, and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your fitness gym sessions.
A healthy post-workout routine is essential for optimal fitness. And if you are trying to lose weight, your post-workout ritual can make or break the success of your program.
Here are five things we can do to make our workout more effective:
1) Rest & recover
After you work out, you look forward to a restful recovery period — on the couch, in a chair, or even in bed. Sound familiar? It is a huge mistake!
Post-workout recovery and rest are essential. Your muscles need time to rebuild, and your body needs time to relax. But you need to stay active in this phase for two reasons. First, your joints remain more limber and mobile if you continue to do the easy movement. And second, you continue to burn more calories through NEAT.
Sleep is vital for physical and psychological repair, so it is essential to get enough sleep. If you are tired, you will not be getting the best out of your workouts, and you are more likely to make poor food choices. You should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night for optimum performance.
2) Eat good
After exercising, nutrition is essential to maintain a fit and healthy body. So, you need to know what to eat after you exercise. Most experts recommend using a suitable combination of carbohydrates and protein to replace essential nutrients lost during the workout and aid recovery.
But what do many of us do?
We use workout sessions as a justification to overeat the wrong foods.
If weight loss is your goal, the key to successful post-workout nutrition is to eat like you did not exercise. Of course, you should refuel adequately. But it would help if you did not overeat because you worked hard at the gym. Be mindful of your food intake and include the calories from your post-workout meal in your daily calorie plan.
Ideally, you should eat within half an hour of finishing a workout, but it’s easy to forget, especially if you rush off afterwards. Make sure you have some healthy snacks for if you are on the go, these will keep you going until you can have a full meal.
3) Stretching & cooling-down
It might be tempting to skip the cool-down stage of your workout, but this will cause more harm than good. Taking five minutes to stretch and cool down allows your body to transition back to rest smoothly.
Leave stretching to the end of your routine. That way, your muscles are warm, and flexibility training is easier and more comfortable.
But what do most of us do? We skip the stretching part of the exercise and hit the shower.
Instead, commit to a solid 10-15 minutes of full-body flexibility training. Schedule this part of your workout routine like you to schedule your ab work and cardio. It is that important.
4) Write & plan progress
Keep track of your workouts and progress towards your health and fitness goals. Looking back on where you started and your journey so far is excellent motivation and will help you set new goals in the future.
So how did your fitness routine make you feel?
Believe it or not, writing down your feelings about your workout may help you stick to your program over the long term.
A workout journal serves as a reminder of your progress and accomplishments, and it is also helpful to review if you have problems losing weight or completing your sessions.
So, taking a few minutes after your exercise session is a good idea to jot down a few notes about how you felt during the workout. Include information about:
· What you did (length of workout, types of exercise)
· How you felt when you started
· How you felt during the workout (confident? strong? uneasy?)
· How do you feel now that you are done
· Other factors that may have influenced your mood (work stress, relationships, etc.)
Most people overestimate how many calories are burned during a workout, and binging on all the wrong foods will only undo all your hard work. Get out of the mindset that you can ‘earn’ calories and stick to healthy food and moderate portion sizes.
Note down what did you eat post-workout?
5) Drink water
Dehydration will only contribute to fatigue post-workout, so ensure you drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout and fully rehydrate when you are finished.
Sweating is a sign we’re raising our body temperature and getting an excellent cardiovascular workout, but it also means losing precious electrolytes like potassium and sodium. These are important for normal water exchange processes in our bodies that keep muscles from cramping and aid recovery.
Some suggest drinking 16 to 24 ounces per pound of sweat, but you don’t have to bring the scale. Just make sure whatever you drink after a challenging workout has some electrolytes. Avoid sugary commercial beverages and stick with coconut water or milk to maximize your results.
Although the work you do at the fitness center is the most important thing, you can improve your strength, endurance, and overall fitness; keeping these post-workout tips in mind can help you maximize your results, feel better, and stick with it until you reach your goals.
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