After spending a significant amount of time in the gym working out, it’s easy to slip up and disregard a proper post-workout routine. However, that should never be the case. Having a post-workout routine is vital since it helps maximize the physical and mental results of your workout.
A post-workout routine should be as important as the workout itself, which is why you should be strategic with what you should and shouldn’t do after exercising. Certain things can mess up your progress and negate your hard work if you’re not careful.
To help you with your endeavor, here are six post-training things you should never do at all costs.
Don’t Skip Stretching
When lifting weights or using top treadmills for cardio, your muscles are at work. That is why you should adequately cool yourself down. Otherwise, you could pass out or even get injured. Moreover, stretching helps in preventing soreness, stiffness, and muscle cramping. It also allows the body to recover more quickly, improve flexibility, and enhance the growth process.
Stretching is a crucial part of the recovery process, and it’s an effortless thing. You use a foam roller, make simple yoga moves, or walk through an easy cool-down on the treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes. However, the key is knowing how to stretch your body correctly. Then, of course, you can always consult a fitness instructor to find out what’s best for you.
Never forget to hydrate before, during, and after working out. Since exercising will make you sweat a lot, you need to replenish the water your body lost. Drink approximately 30-30 ml per kg of body weight each day. If you exercise, add 500-1000 ml for every hour you work out.
Proper hydration after exercising helps in reducing joint pain and inflammation. Consider having coconut water because it replaces electrolytes. In addition, avoid having sports drinks since they tend to have a lot of sugar unless you are training for an endurance marathon.
Just because you burned many calories when exercising doesn’t mean you can indulge in whatever food you wanted. It is about what your body needs, not what you want. Your post-workout meal should be able to help both amino acids and carbohydrates reach the bloodstream for distribution to the muscle cells as quickly as possible.
Since fats can slow down digestion and hamper your recovery, eating foods high in fats should be avoided. Instead, refuel your body with foods rich in carbohydrates and lean protein to replenish the depleted glycogen and electrolytes. In addition, protein helps in muscle recovery, especially after weight training.
The best time to eat a post-workout meal is 30 minutes after you finish exercising. Failing to eat after a training session can make you feel fatigued, leave you with low blood sugar, and even inhibit your body’s natural repair system.
It is not a secret that alcohol is never good for you. However, it is significantly worse if you drink alcohol right after you finish exercising. The alcohol will slow down your body’s recovery and reduce the benefits of your workout. However, if you need to, wait for a few hours after exercising before drinking any alcoholic beverages.
Nevertheless, it is best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.
After finishing an intense workout session, it is tempting to lie down and take a nap. However, falling into sleep directly after you finish exercising is not suitable for your health. It is because your body won’t have the opportunity to properly relax and cool down if you’re going to fall asleep immediately.
Since your muscles are overworked and exhausted, it is best to wait for an hour and a half to two hours to rest your body and muscles before sleeping.
When you see the results you wanted to achieve, the credit goes to your workout routine most of the time. However, your post-workout routine contributed as much. A post-workout routine involves various things from diet, rituals, recovery, and also proper hygiene.
Once you’re finished exercising, get out of your workout clothes immediately. Using clothes covered in sweat could increase the risk of getting a skin infection, fungal infections, body acne, and potentially compromise your immune system. Even if the clothes dried up after running some errands, the bacteria and odor will still linger in the shirt.
If you can’t shower right after working out, bring some spare clothes, including some socks and underwear.
The Bottom Line
Health is a habit that you must uphold diligently. Just because you’re out of the gym doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want without thinking about its consequences to your body. It will be such a waste of hard work, progress, sweat, and tears if you’re not practising a good post-workout routine.