Don’t Make These Common Workout Recovery Mistakes
Recovering properly after you’ve had a tough workout is incredibly important for preventing injury, getting stronger, and shedding fat. Yet many women neglect the post-workout recovery period and miss out on all of the benefits from recovering properly.
Below lists the most common workout recovery mistakes:
You’re not stretching
Any amount of time you spend stretching after a workout is beneficial – the longer the better, but even if you only have 5 minutes to spare that is still better than nothing. Stretching helps to release tension in the muscles you just worked, helping to increase range of motion and prevent injury.
You’re not drinking water
It’s recommended that you drink half of your body weight in fluids, and even more if you just did a sweaty workout. Not drinking enough water after a workout can make you dehydrated which can lead to many unpleasant symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, and headaches.
Always try to keep a water bottle on hand while you are working out.
You’re skimping on protein
Protein is the most important macronutrient you should be eating after a workout. Protein provides the building blocks needed to rebuild muscles to make you stronger and leaner. If you are not eating protein, that muscle will continue to breakdown and you will actually lose muscle.
Aim to get 20 to 30 grams of protein at least three times a day.
You’re not sleeping enough
Your body needs extra TLC after a tough workout, and this includes getting adequate sleep. Sleep is when hormones and other factors are released to repair broken down muscles and make them stronger, which is why it is essential to carve out enough time to sleep the night after exercise.
Everyone is different in terms of how much sleep is needed, but most need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
You’re not incorporating a rest day
It depends how hard you are working out, but a good rule of thumb is to take at least one rest day a week. This doesn’t mean you have to lay around all day, it just means to lay off the weights and any exercise that elevates your heart rate. Make these active rest days by aiming to get 10,000 steps and/or do some light yoga.
You’re doing HIIT everyday
I am a huge fan of HIIT (high intensity interval training) because it is efficient and effective. But because HIIT is so intense, you want to make sure to space at least a day between these type of high intensity workouts. HIIT is very hard on the body and if you do it too often, this can lead to elevated stress hormones in the body and muscle breakdown.
If you are going to do HIIT, aim for 3 sessions a week spaced out by at least one day.
Exercise is one of the very best things you can do for both your mind and body, just remember to take care of yourself after the workout is done 🙂
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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