It is important to know the activities you should stay away from after sweating it out at a workout session; simply because it can determine how effective your exercise routine will be.
Skipping the Stretch
Once you are done with your workout, you should stretch the muscles that you targeted during your exercise routine. This will not only help them recover more quickly and keep you more limber, but may also enhance the growth process.
Performing Excessive Cardio
There is nothing wrong with doing some cardio (20-30 minutes maximum) after your weight training, but it should not be excessive or you will severely hamper the physiological and hormonal mechanisms that lead to muscular hypertrophy.
The best thing to do is to separate cardio and weight training by about 5 hours.
Excluding Fast Acting Carbs
It is very important for you to quickly consume the proper nutrients after a workout, and carbohydrates play a very important role in this equation.
Since the body is primed to absorb carbohydrates to refill muscle glycogen after lifting weights it is best to take in the “fast-acting” or “high GI” variety.
Foods like white rice, white potatoes and rice cakes will get into the bloodstream rapidly, which will elevate insulin levels and allow you to push nutrients into cells at a very quick rate.
Downing Too Many Fats
The goal of your post-workout meal is to make sure that both carbohydrates and amino acids reach the bloodstream for distribution to muscle cells as rapidly as possible.
Since fats tend to slow digestion it would be a big mistake to include a significant amount during the post-workout feeding as your body will not get the needed nutrients on time.
Waiting Too Long to Eat
After an intense gym workout, your body is in severe need of nutrients, especially amino acids and carbohydrates. Your body needs this to replenish, and repair damaged muscle cells and feed the exhausted nervous system.
It is best for you to feed your body a high quality meal no longer than 15-20 minutes after completing your final set.
Skimping on Sleep
In a perfect world all of us would be able to grab about an hour’s nap right after training to help our muscles and nervous system recover, but for most this is just not possible.
Experts recommend that at the very least you avoid physically strenuous activity after working out. You should take at least a little time to just sit, relax and comfortably consume your post-workout meal. Weight training will only be effective if the body gets adequate rest to allow for the rebuilding process to take place.