5 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Killing Your Recovery
by Fitness/Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander
If you hang out with a lot of fitness people, you’ve probably heard the term “rest period” or “recovery period” before. This refers to the period of time after you’ve finished a workout when your muscles are recuperating. It’s also a period of mental rest and relaxation where you prepare your mind for the next workout.
Unfortunately, far too many people downplay the importance of this rest period. In fact, many people leave the gym and don’t think about their fitness goals until it’s time to start another workout. This is a huge mistake for a number of reasons. Read on to learn about five of the most common post-workout mistakes.
Not Eating/Drinking Right Away
If you’re like a lot of people, you likely spend most of your day in a state of hunger and thirst. Then, a couple of hours before your workout, you try to take in as many nutrients as you can. While this is likely a product of your busy lifestyle, it’s probably having a much bigger effect on your fitness goals than you realize.
Your body is always in a state of recovery, so it makes sense to start eating and drinking right after your exercise. If you work out in the morning, follow it up with a hearty breakfast. Eggs, yogurt, fruit, granola, and a tall glass of milk will do just fine. If you exercise before bed, eat something light so that you don’t go to bed on a full stomach.
Staying Up All Night
Sleep is the single most important factor in exercise recovery. A poor night’s sleep will not only make you irritable and groggy, but it also inhibits muscle recovery and makes you unprepared to take on the challenges of the next day. Doctors recommend an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for most adults.
Skipping Your Cool Down
Whether you just performed a cardio workout or a weightlifting workout, your cool down is key to a successful recovery. Cooldowns are often referred to as “active recovery” because they always involve some form of moderate exercise. They’re important because they allow your heart rate to slowly return to normal and they also help your muscles return to a normal state so that you don’t injure yourself in your next workout.
Overestimating Your Calorie Burn
For some people, exercising can make you feel like you’re on top of the world — and it should! But that doesn’t mean you should immediately go home and start eating anything you want. Calories still have the same effect on you that they have on everyone else, so you need to be careful and plan out your diet.
For the average male, an hour-long workout will burn about 250 to 350 calories. This may sound like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much. You can increase the number of calories you burn significantly by performing cardio and make sure you count your calories before digging into any delicious looking dessert.
Working out is challenging enough, so why make your effort go to waste by making these post-workout mistakes? By eliminating some of these lifestyle issues, you’ll feel like you have more control over your fitness routine, regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or both.
In any case, if you are still struggling, I am here to help! As your certified fitness trainer, I will make sure to design a proper warmup and cooldown routine for you and make it part of your daily workout session. My state-of-the-art mobile app will help you to stay on track and workout videos will show you how to keep your form. On top of everything I always propose a nutrition plan for my clients and my mobile app will even organize your grocery shopping list for you! So don’t hesitate, reach out to me today and workout with the best online fitness coach out there!