Your post-workout habits matter as much as your pre-workout and workout habits! You may want to collapse on the couch after a grueling workout but you shouldn’t because then you may as well sabotage your fitness results yourself. Here are a few of the common post-workout mistakes that can render your huffing and puffing at Equinox moot.
Skipping the Cool Down
Five minutes is all it takes to cool down yet so many people skip this part for various reasons, from busyness to laziness. But the cool down is crucial in fitness because it provides the body with a smooth transition between high heart, respiratory and temperature rates to normal rates. The muscles also return to their optimum length-tension ratio.
The lesson: Do that 5-minute cool down even when you don’t feel like it.
Skipping the Nutrition and Hydration
You will be hungry after an intense workout whether you like it or not. You may want to skip on your post-workout snack for a reason, such as you’re rushing to another appointment or you forgot to pack your snack. But you shouldn’t because feeding your body after a workout is a must for optimum fitness results!
The lesson: Eat your snack within 30 minutes after your workout, the magic window for nutrition. It doesn’t have to be solid food, like a protein-packed sandwich, since you can try a liquid electrolyte replacement drink or a protein smoothie.
And speaking of drink, be sure to hydrate regularly when you’re working out. Your body will need as much water as it can for optimum performance, not to mention that you don’t want to end dehydrated.
Skipping the Shower and Fresh Clothes
No, we’re not just talking about smelling like a dirty gym sock after your workout. You have to take a post-workout shower to prevent the growth of bacteria on your skin. Otherwise, you can experience acne breakouts and athlete’s foot, among other infections.
This also goes to say that you have to change from your sweaty fitness gear into your everyday clothes as soon as possible. There’s also the risk of the bacteria and fungi in your sweaty clothes taking up residence on your skin, even when you’re wearing moisture-wicking fitness gear.
The lesson: Just go take a shower and change into fresh clothes. You will smell, look and feel better for it.
We may have discussed many of these things in previous posts but we cannot overemphasize their importance. Post-workout laziness isn’t an excuse especially when you just came out of a not-for-the-lazy workout!