6 Post-Workout Mistakes

6 Post-Workout Mistakes

not to doAre you hitting the gym hard but not seeing the results you want or expect? It could be likely that you are making one of these all too common post-workout mistakes.

Chugging Down that Sports Drink: Unless you just did an intense workout that lasted over an hour or you’re working out during hot weather, those extra calories and grams of sugar are unnecessary. One 20 oz bottle of fruit punch Gatorade or Powerade has 130 calories and 34 grams of sugar. One can of coke? 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Would you drink a can of coke after your workout and think that was ok? It’s all about tricky marketing, don’t be fooled. To replenish your electrolytes, make your own healthy sports drink with the recipe below:

¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime (or orange) juice

1 ½-2 cups fresh, filtered water

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons honey or natural sugar, to taste (the less, the better)

Toss everything in a food blender and blend until the honey is dissolved. Pour over ice and enjoy!

You Reward Yourself Too Much: Occasional indulgences are fine and almost necessary, but using your workout as an excuse to continually eat junk food isn’t going to get you the results you are after. Be careful you aren’t burning 300 calories at the gym and then eating 500 calories in a piece of cake.

You Wait Too Long to Eat: You need to fuel your body after a workout to help rebuild muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the more fat your body will burn around that muscle. Make sure to have a small snack of protein and a healthy complex carbohydrate after your workout.

You Skip the Warm-Up or Cool Down: These are not a waste of time! Not properly warming up or stretching after your workout puts you at risk for injuries that will keep you out of the gym and away from your weight loss goals.

You Use it as an Excuse: Tuesday’s spinning class was so hard, you just have to rest those poor sore muscles until next week, right? Not if you want to see the number on the scale go down. Of course, don’t rush into exercise, start slow, but a little soreness is good. If you only work out once a week, your muscles will always be sore the day after and you won’t reach your weight loss goals.

You Don’t Schedule Your Next Workout:  Good for you for finishing this one! You should absolutely feel accomplished. There is no bad workout aside from the one that didn’t happen. Just remember, don’t pat yourself on the back so much that it gets in the way of your next workout. You’ll only make progress by making exercise a consistent part of your week and lifestyle.

 Teresa M., RN

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