12+ Things You Should Never Do After A Workout

By Sophie 8 months ago

1. Don't Forget To Stretch

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It's so tempting just to go home once you've finished a workout. You might have be willing for it to be over for ages as your body gets more and more tired, but by not stretching you are causing you body to feel more exhausted for a longer period afterwards. Your muscles need to cool down and lengthen to ensure you won't feel tight or obtain injury, so never skip it, even 10 minutes will suffice!

2. Don't Skip A Shower

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Believe it or not, there are some people who choose not to shower once they have finished a workout. Either they can't be bothered or don't think it's important; they'll just get on with their day as if they haven't just pulled a mammoth session on a sweaty gym floor. Don't be that person.

3. Don't Eat A Heavy Meal

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Burning tons of calories during a workout will absolutely leave you feeling hungry, but it's important to avoid eating a heavy meal. If you chow down on something difficult to digest, then it's likely you'll get indigestion as your body is in recovery mode, so opt for something lighter to tide you over until your next meal.

4. Don't Eat Nothing At All

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Some people fast after a workout as they think it'll burn the most fat, but don't be fooled by this dangerous myth. As previously mentioned, your body is in recovery mode meaning it's trying to repair itself post-workout, so eating some good, easy to digest protein will aid in the healing process.

5. Don't Go For A Run

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It may seem a bit nuts to consider going for a run right after a full workout, but it isn't unheard of! If you must do intense cardio such as running, then try to do it before or during your allotted exercise time as tired muscles are more prone to injury.

6. Don't Drink Anything Other Than Water

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Hydration before, during, and after exercise is essential if you want to stay healthy and feeling your best, and nothing hydrates you more than good old H2O. No matter how intense your workout has been, you will have lost a lot of water through sweat so it's important that you drink up to help your body recover.

7. Don't Take Selfies In The Changing Rooms

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You see it all over social media; fitness accounts where the gym-goer is posing in front of a mirror, which looks to be in the changing rooms. Even though you never see that there's anyone in the background, these places are public spaces where people get naked. Not somewhere you'd want to see a camera, is it? Even if it isn't pointed at you, the sheer site of someone taking photos is enough to make anyone uncomfortable.

8. Don't Leave Your Space Messy

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It's so frustrating when someone's just had a heavy workout and left all of their weights and equipment behind for the next person to move. Even worse if they've sweated all over the place. There are paper towels in gyms for a reason, and there's no excuse for not putting equipment back. It's just lazy!

9. Don't Put Anyone Else Down

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Unfortunately the gym can be a very cliquey place where everyone's in competition with each other. First of all if your gym has this vibe then we suggest you switch gyms; no one needs that negativity in their life. Secondly, don't be the person who puts others down in order to feel better about yourself. It's not cool.

10. Don't Keep Your Music At The Same Tempo

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Music has the power to alter energy levels in ways nothing else can. It's fun to listen to fast-paced music with a good beat for a bit of extra motivation in the gym, however it's a good idea to slow it down during your cool down so you're not tempted to keep on pumping.

11. Don't Weigh Yourself

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Weighing yourself after a gym session is not a healthy practice as the scale number isn't indicative of the weight you actually are. Getting into a habit of weighing yourself puts added pressure onto each workout and the number can often ruin your buzz. Even if you're trying to lose weight, try to have some separation between exercise and scale number as workouts offer you so much more than an arbitrary number, so make sure you focus on the positives.

12. Don't Forget Your Belongings

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Sometimes your head can feel a bit fuzzy after a workout; you're tired, filled with adrenaline and endorphins and perhaps rushing to your next destination. We tend to take too much to the gym with us anyway so if you do, make a mental checklist upon your departure to ensure you don't forget anything.

13. Don't Drink Alcohol

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Many people like to drink alcohol after workout as a reward, or sometimes they'll go to the gym before a night out so they feel their best. We're not saying these things are wrong, just that alcohol will dehydrate you, meaning your recovery time will be a lot longer which causes achy muscles.

14. Don't Keep Your Sweaty Clothes On

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Not only will your clothes stink after working out in them, but the sweat will make your body cold causing you to shiver. Depending on how cold it is outside, this could be riskier than you think as you may be in danger of getting hypothermia. This can be easily avoided if you just get changed!

15. Don't Eat Spicy Food

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Spicy food is some of the worst cuisine you can choose for a post-workout meal. It energizes your digestive tract which already buzzing from your workout, so you will be prone to getting heartburn. Eat something light, plain and nutritious after exercise to allow your body to function as it should.

16. Don't Check Your Phone

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This one might be difficult as you've probably been away from your phone for at least an hour (other than to play music), so you'll want to check up to see if you've missed anything. Not checking your phone straight away however, will allow you to process all the positive emotions you've gained from your workout, so try and soak it all in before you reconnect with the world.

17. Don't Post On Social Media

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Unless you have a focused fitness account, posting every workout on social media might become annoying for people. Granted, they can just unfollow or mute you, but do you want your page full of the same stuff just so you can tell people you've been to the gym? Maybe you do, but each to their own...

18. Don't Drive Straight Away

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Many people workout right before work so need to get on the road as soon as they've finished, but driving straight after exercise may be a bit risky. Your muscles are tired, as is your focus, so it might be wise to give it a minute before you get in the driver's seat. Have a proper cool down, maybe even a bit of meditation, to get yourself back at full capacity and into the real world.

19. Don't Try To Sleep

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Exercising can make you tired, but exercising right before bed can hinder your sleep. Even if you feel like having a snooze, try to leave a gap where you partake in restful activity in order to cool you down slowly. It'll mentally prepare you for a good rest so that your sleep cycle can operate in the most efficient way.

20. Don't Lose Your Headphones

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This pointer is more applicable to the modern day as everything is going wireless. It's too easy to leave at least one earphone behind, and they're super expensive to replace. Over ear headphones are easier to keep track of, but that's not to say they're difficult to lose!

21. Don't Stop Straight Away

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If you're tired at the end of a workout then it may be tempting to come to an abrupt stop, however this can be terrible for the recovery process. Your body needs time to slow down in order to adapt to its current state. If you don't give yourself chance to do this then chances are you'll be hurting for quite a few days after!

22. Don't Skip Your Protein

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Protein is necessary for the restoration of your over-worked muscles, so it is essential to eat or drink it once you've finished your workout. There are so many decent options to replenish your body; whether you opt for a shake or a piece of chicken, it all supports strong, healthy, and pain-free muscles.

23. Don't Brag

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We're not saying that you can't feel proud of yourself after a workout; it is an achievement, after all. It's just that bragging can come across as though you're rather arrogant and it's not something people want to hear. A shared discussion about your workouts is a more productive way to talk, so try not to show off!

24. Don't Fatty Food

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Eating fatty food after a workout will not provide your body with the nutrition it needs for recovery so it'd be a bad choice of food to consume post-workout. Not only that, but it hinders the metabolization of carbohydrates so no matter what you eat it with, you won't receive any nutritional benefits.

25. Don't Do Anything Stressful

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In order for your body to settle back into a relaxed state so it can carry out its normal processes, it's best to avoid carrying out any stressful tasks straight after a workout. Exercise raises the levels of cortisol in your body which is the stress hormone, so you'll want to lower that so as not to have any lasting effects on your sleep, your blood pressure, or your heart.

26. Don't Wear Heels

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Going back to your normal routine post-workout may include wearing heels if you're going to work or anywhere else you have to dress formally. Your muscle fatigue won't appreciate your heel-wearing and you might feel quite wobbly on your feet. If you can, wear comfortable shoes to give your legs a chance to recover.

27. Don't Drink Soda

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Most sodas are diuretics which means they can actually dehydrate you; not something you need following a workout. Their high sugar content also means they're a bad choice for muscle recovery and you're likely to experience a sugar comedown later in the day. Best to stick to water.

28. Don't Leave Your Smelly Clothes In A Bag

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Once you get home from your workout it's important to throw your clothes straight in the laundry. If you leave them in your bag any longer than a day then expect your bag to smell like smelly socks until you wash it again. Hardly worth the load when such a stench is so easily avoidable!

29. Don't Forget To Track Your Progress

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Tracking progress can really keep you motivated in the gym, and there are so many apps you can easily do this on. Whether you have set goals or you just want to see how you're improving, it's always good to keep a note of your workouts for you to look back on.

30. Don't Do Nothing For The Rest Of The Day

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Although you should focus on rest and recovery post-workout, it's important for your mental and physical health to keep up some of the momentum and have a productive remainder of the day. You may feel you've earned a day on the sofa after a workout but doing this too often will make you feel like a slob!