Maintaining a healthy and fit body doesn't only take place inside of the gym. There is that 80/20 rule... 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. But, within that there are other factors that play a critical role.
Any trainer will tell you that real progress happens after you hit the gym. That's the time when your muscles are recovering and rebuilding. But are you undermining your own efforts? Here are the most common post-workout mistakes you're probably making.
1. You're Forgetting To Stretch.
Nothing is worst than having a painful muscle cramp to remind you of a great workout. The best way to prevent cramping from a workout is to warm up and cool down by stretching before and after you begin to exercise. Make sure to listen to your body and pay attention to your body's limits, so you won't over-stretch and pull a muscle.
2. You're Neglecting The Power Of A Foam Roller
Foam rolling after a workout can likely help you with improving flexibility, increasing blood flow, and help loosen up those stiff knots in your muscle tissue. Try using a foam roller before you begin your cool down stretches to help soothe and relax those tense muscles than can lead to those annoying cramps.
3. Skipping the Cool Down
Cooling down is a vital part of your post workout routine. Your body needs to get gradually back to its normal heart rate. It is great to use your cool down routine to focus on the area of your body that you were exercising. You can never go wrong with a slight jog or fast paced walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes.
4. Forgetting to Replenishing What You Sweat Out
Keeping hydrated is important. Your body sweats to cool itself down but in the process, you are losing valuable nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Rehydrating before, during and after a workout is one of the best things you can do for your body. Staying hydrated helps maintain body temperature and lubricates your joints. Grabbing a sports drink or a glass of water after a grueling workout can help keep you energized and feeling good. But try not to go overboard with the sugary sports drinks because it can put back on the calories you just burned off. In fact, you can make your own at home.
5. Neglecting to Eat
Eating after you exercise sounds a bit backwards. But, getting the proper foods can give you the right amount of energy and fuel your body needs. If you go too long without eating your body may start to eat away at your muscle tissue which can take away from your tone and definition. Make sure to eat the right amount of fruits, vegetables, and protein and stay away from as many bad carbs (choose whole grains) and unhealthy fatty foods as possible.
6. Not Keeping Track Of Your Progress
Don't be afraid to push yourself each time you start your workout! The best way to do this is by knowing how much you accomplished the last time you worked out. This can be done by timing yourself during certain exercises or aiming to keep your heart rate above a certain number. Using a pedometer is a great way to keep track of your distance and progress when going out for a run. It's okay to compete against yourself, and it be a fun challenge.
7. You Aren't Giving Yourself Enough Credit
Working towards any goal can become frustrating at certain points, but you can't focus on what you haven't done and neglect to give yourself credit for all that you have accomplished. Nothing worth working for comes easy without discipline, and this goes for achieving your desired fitness results as well. Putting your workout clothes on and heading to the gym is half of the battle... finish strong!