We are inundated with images of buff men and women flaunting their ironclad abs and defined muscles. The gym can do wondrous things for a person but doing it wrong can cause the body to deplete rather than replenish. It’s not only in the gym where you can make your mistakes though, in fact, a lot of errors are made post workout. Below are the top 5 worst post-workout mistakes you can make.

Mistake 1 – staying in your gym clothing

It may seem like a good idea when you return home to stay sat in your gym clothing.

When you go to the gym, you get hot and sweaty, and clothing becomes damp. Sitting in this clothing provides the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cling to you. It also makes it difficult to get warm and can cause you to develop a chill that is hard to fend off.

Even in you are unable to shower right after your workout you should still change into fresh clothes including socks and shoes. Doing so helps to keep your muscles warm and loose thus promoting healthy circulation. Having good circulation helps to aid in the recovery of your muscles after a workout.

When changing your shoes, it is important to make sure that they are well supported. This helps to keep you upright especially if your legs and feet are feeling spent.

Mistake 2 – succumbing to the sofa

When you’ve spent a considerable amount of time at the gym, it’s easy to succumb to the call of the sofa. Parking your backside in front of the TV sounds bliss accompanied with back to back series on Netflix.

Although this may seem like a good idea, you may have guessed by now that it’s not.

The best thing to do after a workout is to partake in some light activity. This will help keep your blood moving around the body helping to speed up recovery and fuel the body. Something as simple as walking throughout the day and carrying out some stretches will be just fine.

[caption id="attachment_133" align="alignnone" width="500"]man on sofa © Spectral-Design[/caption]

Mistake 3 – failure to refuel properly

After partaking in a workout routine, the body needs to refuel to recover properly. It is important to make sure that after you exercise you eat and drink within 20-30 minutes of finishing.

With busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to achieve this. Planning ahead, however, will make it possible for you to refuel properly. Pack some healthy snacks in your bag that you can easily eat after your gym session. You should ensure that your snacks include protein, a small amount of fat and some complex carbohydrates. Incorporating these into your food will ensure that energy levels are replenished and that muscles can heal properly.

You must also make sure that you have plenty of fluids to drink after a workout. Water is the only liquid you will need. Water will quench your first and rehydrate you so that you can make a full recovery. It is a good idea to have water on you at all times throughout the day to make sure that you don’t become dehydrated.

The most important thing to remember after your workout is that you don’t over indulge. A lot of people get it into their head that because they have exercised, they can eat what they like that day. All this does is replace the calories burned off and undo all of your hard work.

Mistake 4 – doing heavy chores

It’s natural to want to carry out heavy tasks when you’re already hot and sweaty. This way you need only shower once instead of twice.

Heavy chores after a workout, however, can be a drain on the muscles as they are already feeling tired. You are also likely to be partially dehydrated from sweating and slightly undernourished. When the muscles are feeling tired, the body does not respond well to the likes of heavy lifting and climbing ladders. In fact partaking in such activities could result in injury.

If you really want to get big chores done, you should leave them until the next day or give yourself at least several hours to recover after your workout.

[caption id="attachment_134" align="alignnone" width="500"]Man digs a hole © yunava1[/caption]

Mistake 5 – you skip recovery days

Recovery is crucial for seeing results from your workouts. This is why rest days are highly recommended and should not be missed. Many people skip their rest days, especially if they think that their workout was too short or lacked intensity. The length and intensity, however, should not dictate whether or not you have a rest day.

The body should be treated with respect, and this means allowing it time to recover. Your body will thank you for this and will reap the rewards.