You could be doing everything right, but if you are not keen on your recovery, then you may jeopardize your chances of hitting your fitness goals. Recovery is a vital aspect of training. As a matter of fact, it is just as important as the hard workouts you do. If you don’t allow yourself to recover in the right manner, then you will be sabotaging the hard work you may have already done. It is sad to note that most people never care about what they do immediately after they are done with their workouts. The few who care about it end up committing certain sins that do nothing but get in the way of their successful recovery and subsequent improvement. Here are some of the most common post-recovery mistakes people fall victim to and how you can stop them.
Going For a Sports Drink
As much as it is important to stay hydrated, it is not necessary to go for a sports drink which may have unnecessary calories. In most cases, there is no need to replace your electrolytes, except for when you engage in intense workouts that go for more than one hour. Otherwise, plain water is always sufficient to keep you hydrated.
You Don’t Cool Down Properly
Cooling down properly is essential to let your blood pressure and heart rate return to the normal levels. This will reduce your chances of getting injured along with other implications. If you stop too suddenly, you may feel sick since your body did not get a good chance to recover. Time is needed to get the heart rate and the body temperature back to normal since exercising normally takes them to very higher levels. If you happen to have a fitness tracker, use it to make sure your heart rate drops down to 100 or below before you finally wrap up the workout.
You Don’t Stretch
If you want to get the most in terms of flexibility, then it is imperative that you stretch properly after your workout. Most people forget about this. They do not know that stretching after the workout reduces the amount of soreness they will feel the next day. The best time to stretch your muscles is after you have worked out since they are already warm following the exercise. As such, they won’t just lengthen more, but also lead to a better range of motion. With an improved range of motion, your joints will become better and you will also be less prone to injuries.
You Take Advil or Ibuprofen
Post-workout pains and soreness will always be there, especially when you are just starting out or when you are trying to challenge yourself to reach new limits. You may end up with inflamed tendons, a slight twitch or delayed muscle soreness after the workout. Taking Advil or ibuprofen is never the best way to deal with these minor issues. These medicines are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. After the workout, inflammation has already evolved, and taking these kinds of drugs will limit or cancel out the benefits you are hoping to get.
It is important to understand that inflammation is one of the ways the body activates certain cells for the purposes of repairing the muscles. It is possible to recover without inflammation, but it takes slightly longer without the aid of these cells. In other words, it is better to recover naturally than to avoid inflammation by taking NSAIDs.
Waiting For Hours Before Eating
It is important that you refuel within two hours after a workout if you want to recover properly. You need proteins immediately to help in repairing the small muscle tears during the workouts, and you also need the carbs to replenish the stored energy consumed by your muscles during the workout. If you fail to refuel soon after the workout, the remaining proteins in the body will be broken down further and this will come in the way of getting proper muscle growth.
Resting Immediately or For Too Long
After a tiring workout, most people look forward to nothing but a restful recovery on the couch or in the bed. However, this is one of the biggest post-workout mistakes you can ever do to yourself. Yes, you need the rest, but you should never bundle yourself on the couch or in the bed immediately after a workout. It is vital to allow your muscles time to relax and rebuild, but you need to stay active immediately after the workout for two reasons.
First, you need to continue being mobile through easy movements so that your joints and muscles stay limber. Secondly, you need to stay active so that you can continue to burn more calories through the process of non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT.
Eating the Wrong Things
If you want to maintain a fit and healthy body, then you have to observe post-workout nutrition. It is sad that some people have no regards to what they eat after working out. In fact, they eat as if they were not exercising. Experts recommend that you consume a reasonable amount of proteins and carbohydrates to replace the nutrients lost during the workout and to help in the recovery process. However, most people overeat the wrong foods. They do not realize that eating the wrong meal after a workout is sufficient to undo everything they did in the gym. This can be a major source of concern if you are trying to lose weight. You can’t be burning lots of calories in the gym only to come back and replace them with more by eating poorly after the workout.
Failing to Get Enough Sleep
Proper recovery is not possible if you don’t get enough sleep. It is also not possible to have a truly amazing and engaging workout session if you are deprived of sleep. The body is most focused on repairing the muscles at around 10 p.m. So, this could be a good time to go to bed. Psychological repair tends to happen between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Therefore, be sure to be getting adequate sleep after workouts so that you can rest and allow your muscles and entire body to heal and be ready for the next workout session.
You already know that without proper recovery, your exercising may as well be a waste of time with no opportunity for growth at all. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure that you don’t undo all the hard work you have already done during the workouts and that you stand to benefit from every effort you make while exercising.