This year was the year you were going to keep that New Years Resolution. This was the year you’d lose your weight and keep it off for good. You hit the ground running on January 1st and by the end of the month, you lost some weight and were feeling great! February rolls around and between that darn cold that would never go away and your aching knees, you didn’t exercise as much, but you didn’t give up. You’ve done better this month by making it to the gym and trying to eat healthy, but the weight is not budging. It can’t be that you’ve hit a plateau could it? What’s going wrong? Maybe it’s not the workout that’s going wrong or the nutrition. Maybe it’s what happens right AFTER your workout that is keeping you from losing weight. Here are 4 Post-Workout mistakes that might be the culprit.
1. You replenish your fluids with a sports drink.
Unless you are working out multiple hours a day, it’s unlikely that your body needs a sports drink to replenish electrolytes in your body. The unnecessary extra calories are then canceling out what you just worked off. Good ol’ water is the best way to rehydrate before, during and after your workout.
2. You don’t rehydrate with enough water.
One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water. 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water. During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes. Not going into your workout hydrated can lessen your performance by 25% and coming out of your workout dehydrated can slow the healing of tissues and the building of muscle. In other words, you aren’t getting as much out of your workout as you could be so your change is slow and your time is wasted.
3. You don’t eat after you workout.
It takes energy aka calories to rebuild your body and change it’s composition into lean muscle. After a workout, your body will need protein to rebuild your muscle and some carbohydrate to give you energy especially if it was a long workout or a high intensity workout. You don’t need much. Eating 20g of protein is plenty and even half of a banana should get that glucose into your blood stream to keep your from crashing with an energy low. If you don’t refuel, the repairing and changing of your muscle (your active calorie burning tissues) will be slow and you’ll drop in energy which will also drop your calorie burning just by slowing you down. You don’t want your body to go searching for fuel in your muscles. Giving your body some immediate fuel will keep your progress moving.
4. You don’t stretch.
You know those achy knees? Any repetitive movement over time can cause some aches and pains. Consider a 45-minute Spinning class. Your foot goes down and around 2000-3000 times in one class! That means that the same muscles are contracting over and over with the same repetitive range of motion shortening the belly of the muscle. Not stretching that muscle back out can cause extra pull on joints, ligaments and tendons leading to pain. Pain will not only hinder your workouts and results, but may keep you from working out all together if they cause an injury.
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