5 Post-Workout Mistakes That Slow Down Results

1 – Forgetting The Most Important Stretch

Are you constantly in a hurry after your workout, and keep skipping your stretching session? Even if you can only fit in two minutes, you have to try the 2-min stretching video below. It will keep your back and legs limber so you can keep coming back for more! 

We all know that stretching is important, but yet it’s one of the most overlooked aspect of fitness…and the benefits are enormous! Stretching will help you improve your posture, move with greater ease, protect yourself from injury, and promote spinal health while preventing lower back problems. After your next workout, take a few minutes to release tension in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes with this stretch from my DVD, Barre Body Lift.

2 – Eating The Wrong Food

From a nutritional standpoint, your post-workout focus needs to focus on both macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include: protein for muscle rebuilding, carbohydrates for energy renewal, and fats for nerve function. Micronutrients are also critical, and include the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids your body needs to function optimally every day for the rest of your life.

After a workout, fuel your body with these nutrients:

  • SUPER-CARBS (packed with micronutrients) – Nutrient-packed carbohydrate sources such as blueberries, dark leafy greens and mangos will fuel your brain and your body.
  • HEALTHY FATS – Avocados are a healthy fat source that provides lycopene and beta-carotene, two anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, along with a healthy dose of fiber.
  • PROTEIN – Not only does protein help repair and grow muscle tissues after workouts, but it also helps curb cravings and stabilize the blood sugar roller coaster, because it is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream. That’s why it’s vital for fat loss. For your body to break proteins down into those amino acids, it requires energy – and expending energy means burning calories.

Protein shakes are my go-to post-workout option, because they have the perfect balance of protein and fiber. I recommend using the Kathy Smith Protein Shake, because it’s packed with easy-to-digest whey as well as nutrients–with one serving you’re giving your body essential probiotics, fiber, and protein.

3 – Sitting All Day

Working out isn’t an excuse to stay sedentary for the rest of the day! For most of us, our daily activities do not promote suppleness and freedom of motion. When we sit all day at work, our muscles tighten. In time, our body starts to feel locked and compressed. Age also makes us stiffer. You may notice it when tying your shoes, or turning to look over your shoulder in the car.

A sedentary lifestyle may be to blame for a host of illnesses, from fatty liver disease to diabetes, even for people who work out regularly but spend too much time sitting. Sure, we live in a computer-based world, and we can’t always jump up from our desks for a quick jog. But we can do a little more multitasking, and add more physical activity to our schedules when we’re not working. For adding activity to your day, it’s the little stuff that counts. Every 20 minutes throughout the day, take a break to run up the stairs, do a few jumping jacks at your desk, or simply stand up and tidy your space.

4 – Forgetting The Roll

After a workout, pulling out a foam roller and massaging your fascia is critical. Fascia is a web of connective tissue surrounding muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Think of it like the netting of a tennis racket with the strings representing the fascia. Over time, though, those strings or tissues lose their collagen and elasticity or too much fat develops and the fat gets pushed through the netting. That’s what gives a dimpled appearance, or what we call cellulite.

Performing a few moves with a foam roller after a workout helps support and restore the fluid state of your connected tissue. I use the RumbleRoller, because it was specifically designed to mimic thumb-like massage pressure in order to break up knotted muscle fibers, decrease muscle tension and diminish muscle tightness. This roller is much more aggressive than the conventional foam roller and is able to get deeper in the muscle fascia to reach the toughest trigger points.

5 – Not Focusing on Recovery

Sleep is the unsung hero of weight loss. Getting a good night’s sleep means much more than just catching up on your beauty rest. If you cheat yourself out of a long slumber, you’re setting yourself up for unhealthy consequences later. Occasionally falling short of the seven to nine hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation won’t really affect you, right?

Wrong. Weight loss is tied to your sleep quality. When your regular sleep pattern is less than the recommended amount, it can compromise your immune system causing symptoms like irritability, depression, and a lackluster demeanor due to your body releasing stress hormones.

Sleep deprivation also creates an imbalance of ghrelin and leptin, the hormones responsible for alerting your body when you’re hungry or full. So when you’re sleep deprived, not only are you tired but also you’re also  prone to overeating.