You skip the cool down
Stopping too fast could make you feel sick if your body doesn’t get the chance to recover. Your temperature rises and your blood vessels widen during physical activity, and your body needs the chance to get them back to normal, says Melissa Leber, MD, FACEP, assistant professor of orthopaedics and emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “You can feel very light-headed if you don’t cool down and go straight to the shower,” she says. If you have a fitness tracker, make sure your heart rate is down to 100 or lower before you wrap up your workout. These are the 9 treadmill mistakes that make trainers cringe.
You don’t stretch
For the biggest gains in flexibility, stretch right after your workout. Because your muscles are already warm from the exercise, they’ll be able to lengthen more, so you can build a better range of motion. Stretching might not give you immediate injury protection, but your body will be better primed in the future. “It doesn’t prevent injury unless you’re looking down the road,” says Dr. Leber. “If the range of motion in your joints is better, you’re less prone to injury.” These are the 7 exercise mistakes that make you look older.
You wait hours to eat again
Refueling within two hours of a workout is crucial for recovery. Carbohydrates replenish the stored energy your muscles used, and protein helps repair the small tears in your muscles that exercise creates, says Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, CDN, CSCS, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Aim for 15 to 20 grams of protein for prime recovery, says Crandall. “That protein, when it comes back in, is helping you replenish and re-heal that muscle so you get growth instead of being degraded,” she says. “If you’re not refueling, it’s breaking down further.”