1. Gulping a Sports Drink
One of the worst post-workout mistakes is gulping a sports drink. Unless you’re working out at an intense pace for hours, you don’t need to refuel with a sports drink. Instead of drinking your calories, stick to water and a small snack, like an apple with peanut butter, or carrots and hummus.
2. Staying in Sweaty Clothes for Hours After a Workout
Not only will you feel disgusting if you remain in your sweaty, smelly clothes after a workout, but the moisture underneath your clothes could lead to body acne and yeast infections.
Shower and change into dry clothes immediately after your workout, if you can.
3. Rubbing Your Eyes
Touching your eyes, mouth or nose after a workout is just asking for trouble. The gym is a breeding ground for germs.
Take as much precaution as you can by wiping down equipment before and after you use them. Wipe sweat from your face with a towel brought from home, and wash your hands after a workout. Hundreds of people touch gym equipment everyday, and you’re sharing germs with all of them.
4. Leaving Before Cooling Down
If you’re taking a class, leaving before the cool down is disrespectful to your instructor and bad for your body. If you’re working out alone, you’re only cutting corners. Carve out an extra five minutes per workout to stretch out those muscles. You’ll feel better the next day because of it, and you’ll be at less risk for injury.
5. Skipping a Snack
If you’re not planning to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner after your workout, eat a healthy snack within two hours of hitting the gym- it’s essential for building muscle. If you’re not refueling properly, you won’t see optimal results.
If you run three miles, don’t think that you need to eat a hamburger and piece of chocolate cake to make up for it. The reality is, you’re probably only burning about 300 calories, and eating a 1,000 calorie meal afterward will do nothing but sabotage your efforts.
7. Skimping on Sleep
If you’re waking up extra early to workout, but not getting enough sleep, you’re probably not helping yourself. Growth hormones, produced by your body while you sleep, help aid your muscles in repair.
Try to get 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye a night.
8. Rolling Up a Yoga Mat
If you’re a creature of habit, you might roll your yoga mat up after class, and leave it like that until the next one. While this might seem logical, you’re creating a breeding ground for germs.
After using your mat, wipe it down and lay it flat, or hang it up over a door to dry.
9. Neglecting to Wipe Off
No one likes to workout on a sweaty piece of equipment. Not only is it rude, but it’s also very unsanitary.
When you’re done working out, wipe down your machine so no one else has to touch your germs. If you’re being extra-cautious, wipe down equipment before you workout, as well.
10. Late Night Snacking
If you’re still feeling hungry before bed, don’t reach for unhealthy snacks. Have a handful of almonds or a cup of Greek yogurt, and see if the feeling subsides. Reaching for fatty, greasy, sugary foods late at night will only make you feel bad. Just because you exercise does not mean that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.