So you just completed a kick-ass workout and you’re ready to head for the gym door. But wait, not so fast! Working out is only one part of a healthy lifestyle, and what you do or don’t do after a workout is just as important as the workout itself. If you make these 4 mistakes, those hours of hard work might have all been for nothing.
Skip your stretch
Your muscles will respond a whole lot better if you treat them well and set a couple of minutes aside for a post-workout stretch. Seven has some great stretches for winding down, increasing blood circulation and preparing your muscles for recovery, so check them out if you haven’t already!
Forget to hydrate
If it was a good workout you probably broke a sweat. So once you’re done, all of those fluids need to be replaced. We recommend drinking an extra glass of water for every 30 minutes of exercise. Staying hydrated is crucial both for feeling and looking healthy, and helps support healthy weight loss by keeping your metabolism in check. So don’t neglect your water bottle!
Grab a sports drink
Don’t let their misleading marketing fool you. Sports drinks – unless you’ve run a marathon – are terrible post-workout fuel. They’re loaded with sugar and calories than don’t nearly make up for any added minerals or nutrition. We recommend that you stick to water, and if you’re worried about electrolytes, try coconut water instead! It’s all natural and contains five key electrolytes: sodium, potassium (more than in 15 sports drinks!), calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Now that’s what we’re talking about!
Not keeping track of your progress
Recording your workouts let you keep track of your progress and goals. If you notice that you’ve worked out twice a week this month, try to reach three times a week next. And if you can do 10 push-ups this month, set a goal to do 15 the coming. Seeing all your hard work in front of you like this, whether you prefer to keep a pen-and-paper kind of diary or use a fitness app, helps you to stay motivated and set on your goal. Plus, it’s fun to look back on once you get there – because we know you will!
Not eating post workout
After a workout your body screams for food. Regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, get fit or build muscle, you need to refuel with healthy foods. Focus on carbohydrates and protein since these are the most crucial for your muscle cells to be able to recover. Ideally you should try to eat 20 grams of protein within fifteen minutes of finishing your workout, and a healthy high-carb snack within 60 minutes.