By Lisa Brown – People who care about their health usually know the importance of working out and maintaining a healthy balanced diet. But not all of them of them are able to reach their fitness goal.
The reason you might not be seeing any progress in workouts is because you may not realize that staying in shape requires a lifelong commitment on several components. It is an amalgamation of proper nutrition, a sturdy exercise program, adequate sleep, managing stress and more. If any one of them is neglected, your results will suffer. You might feel completely wiped out halfway through your workout because you may not understand what your body’s needs are, how it works and how much energy it requires for workouts.
If you want to make the most out of your workout sessions and reach your fitness goal, it’s important to be careful about what you do when you’re done with exercising so that you can reap maximum benefits of working out.
Here are 5 post gym mistakes that people commonly make, that can have a negative impact on fitness levels:
Not Stretching or Cooling down
Stretching after a vigorous workout helps you elongate your muscles and also eliminates any lactic acid build up that may have occurred during the session. Because your muscles are ready and pumped up from the exercise, they’ll be able to lengthen more, giving you a better range of motion. If the range of motion in your joints is better, you’re less prone to injury.
To improve flexibility to the fullest, stretch right after your workout. Stretching will protect you from injuries in the long run by priming your body day by day.
Cooling down is also crucial to bring down the level of your stress hormones. As soon as you have finished working out, your heartbeat is fast, your body temperature is high and your blood vessels are dilated. All these extreme conditions in the body imply that stopping at once will make you feel sick or even pass out. Give your body sometime to cool down by avoiding sudden stops. Wind up your workout with some light aerobics, like walking or jumping. This causes your internal organs and muscles come back to their relaxed levels.
No Recovery time
You might believe that to lose weight faster, you will need to workout seven days a week for hours, but turns out overtraining and not providing adequate recovery time can actually weaken your immune function and cause injury. Many experts suggest that working out 3-4 times a week is enough for results and working out more than that could actually be preventing you in some ways, as your body and muscles need time to repair and recover.
Do not workout the same muscle two days in a row. Switch your workout routines so that you don’t use the same muscles at every gym session. When you exercise, you break down your muscles. This is why it takes 48 hours of eating a caloric surplus and some rest for recovering to stronger and bigger muscles. Remember to schedule some days with lighter workout, like taking a walk.
A good sleep is also essential for muscle recovery because your muscles recover while you are asleep. Depriving yourself from sleep means your muscles won’t recover and you will wake up feeling exhausted the next day with a very low level of performance stamina. A 6 to 8 hour sleep is important for your body to recover after an intense workout session. Get yourself in bed by 10pm as this is the time when your body tends to repair itself according to its natural circadian clock.
Not Drinking enough Water
Dehydration is the most common cause of a post-workout exhaustion. Even a little dehydration can have a major effect on your health. If you continue with dehydrated body and not hydrate yourself enough, your body will begin to shut down.
Water is an essential constituent of your body that is required by all body systems and organs. If you are dehydrated even during a workout, you will feel sluggish and exhausted easily. Your body loses approximately 4-8 cups of water during a workout session through sweating so it’s important that you drink water in little amounts throughout your exercise session.
Identify dehydration by the color of urine. If it’s darker than usual color, you are probably dehydrated. Always remember to carry a bottle of fresh water with you when you are training and make sure you drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
Never drink beer, vodka or any kind of alcohol after a workout. Drinking alcoholic beverages does not hydrate you. In fact, it slows down muscle recovery, dehydrates your body and increases your risk of blood clots.
Taking Painkillers every time
Another common mistake a lot of us are guilty of, is taking painkillers like candy. Consuming painkillers without prescription will do more harm than relieving. If you feel sore, you will be tempted to take ibuprofen but doing so will prevent your body from building muscle.
Ibuprofen delays muscle recovery by 6 to 8 hours as it stops the inflammatory process. According to a study from The American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, taking NSAID painkillers inhibits protein synthesis that in turn can inhibit muscle growth.
Always make sure you pop in a painkiller only if its too sore to tolerate.
Rewarding with Food
After a strenuous workout you will probably be tempted to have an indulgent treat to reward yourself. Do not give in to those cravings or you could end up wasting all that hard work to food. Just because you worked out and burned a lot of calories, you cannot allow yourself to “cheat” because it will set you back.
Immediately diving into a carb-heavy meal, will make it harder for you to lose weight. Opt for something with a high protein content after a workout and remember to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight everyday. This will help give you an energy boost and repair your muscles quickly.
Byline/About the Author: Lisa Brown has been helping her readers in successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with uae.ekuep.com, which is the answer to UAE’s growing restaurant industry. Ekuep is the brand that restaurants, bakeries, cafes, juice bars, and more turn to when they want to stock their kitchens with only the best restaurant equipment.