8 MISTAKES TO AVOID ONCE YOU’VE COMPLETED YOUR WORKOUT
When working out, there can be many roadblocks that pop up and prevent you from reaching your goals. It might be a lack of consistency, or cheating on your diet or maybe another culprit is responsible. But if so, what could it be?
Let’s start with another question: have you ever taken your post-workout routine into consideration? We hear all about what we shouldn’t do before and during, but once we’ve wrapped up our time on the treadmill or put the dumbbells away, there are actually some key mistakes you should avoid making. Keep reading to learn more!
MISTAKE #1: SKIPPING STRETCHING
This is a huge no-no! While it can be tempting to head straight to the locker room once we’re done, taking an additional ten minutes to stretch will really make a difference. When we workout, lactic acid can build up and cause prolonged soreness and hinder recovery. By stretching, we can actually alleviate the acid.
Additionally, working out, especially lifting weights, creates tiny tears in our muscles. Stretching can improve blood flow which works to heal and recover these muscles faster.
MISTAKE #2: TOO MUCH CARDIO
Unless you are training for a marathon or another long-distance race, there is actually such a thing as too much cardio. After you’ve lifted weights, the optimal amount of cardio is about 20-30 minutes. If you find yourself on the treadmill or elliptical any longer than that, it could really hinder muscle gains.
Not only that, but it can lead to some serious fatigue. Working out to the point of exhaustion may seem like a good idea in theory, but in practice, it can cause injury or put you on the path to burnout.
MISTAKE #3: DELAYING EATING
After an intense workout at our Westwood gym, don’t wait too long to eat. During this transition, your body is severely lacking in nutrients, including protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates. These three work in tandem to replenish and restore any damaged or fatigued muscle cells as well as refuel your exhausted nervous system.
Here are a few healthy foods that you should consider enjoying post-workout:
- Rice cakes
- Cheese and crackers
- Greek yogurt mixed with low fat granola
- Peanut butter toast with a banana
- Protein shake
- Hummus and pita bread
The good news is that if you want something delicious to eat once you’ve completed a workout, you don’t have to remember to pack your own snacks or worry about going hungry during your commute home. Instead, you can opt to head down to The Kitchen and enjoy some delicious and nutritious food prepared by our Executive Chef. Our seasonal menu is always filled with good things to eat that don’t cause you to sacrifice your health or your tastebuds.
MISTAKE #4: CUTTING OUT FAST-ACTING CARBS
Carbs are often demonized as bad things, the first place that people will point their fingers when they are struggling to lose weight. However, carbs do exist for a reason and actually play a significant role in recovery. The key is being choosy about which carbs you eat as well as consuming them effectively.
So what is a fast-acting carb? It is a carb that enters the bloodstream at a rapid rate of speed, helping to elevate your insulin levels and push nutrients into cells quicker. Or, as another way of putting it, that means serious gains can occur should you opt to put good carbs in your body as a way to refuel.
- Raisins, dates, figs
- Whole grain bagels
- Rice cakes
- Sweet potatoes or yams
CARBS TO AVOID:
- Ice cream
MISTAKE #5: SKIPPING WHEY PROTIEN
No whey can you skip this step!
Odds are good that you’ve heard of whey protein, but you may not be aware of all of the benefits it has. It can actually help with many health aspects, including working to build and tone muscle, assisting with weight loss, increasing bone density, lowering blood sugar and even helping to boost metabolism.
So what is it? Whey protein is actually a complete protein that is loaded with all the essential amino acids our bodies need. These amino acids go on to serve as the building blocks for the fibers in our muscles. When we consume whey protein, we actually are supplying our muscles with all the amino acids we need. Before you leave our Westwood gym and head home, be sure to load up on a serving of whey protein.
MISTAKE #6: EATING TOO MANY FATS
While healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet, they are not recommended for post-workout meals. This is because fats actually slow digestion, and if you’re trying to soak up all of those amino acids, fats can be detrimental. Lean towards carb-heavy and amino acid-centric meals after your workout and save eating foods with good fats for another time in the day.
MISTAKE #7: MISSING OUT ON VALUABLE SUPPLEMENTS
Proper diet and training are the keys to being successful at your fitness journey. However, having a little additional help along the way never hurts. Take the time and do some research into vitamins and supplements that you need. Not every person is the same, and any sort of medical conditions can influence which ones you need to take. Start this process by having a conversation with your doctor and see what their suggestions are.
MISTAKE #8: FAILING TO REST
The importance of getting proper rest cannot be overstated. And no, we’re not just talking about at night time. When you’re done with your work out, what is the first thing you do? Do you go home and cook dinner or do chores around the house? Do you run a bunch of errands? If the answer is yes, then you aren’t actually doing your body any favors. While we all wish we could take a power nap once we leave the gym, it’s not always feasible. However, at least take the time to rest so that your sore muscles can recover.
Or, as a treat, you could take a moment and visit The Spa! Our Westwood gym features a luxurious spa where you can book not only a healing massage, but also a facial, wax or other great skin care treatments. Whichever you choose, we know it will be the perfect reward for completing a grueling workout.