Whether you’ve only recently decided to start taking your physical fitness more seriously or you’re a veteran gym rat, take a minute to check this list and make sure you’re not sabotaging your own best efforts.
Stretching too much BEFORE your workout.
Stretching is good. Warming up is important. However, stretching too much before your workout can cause certain cells in your muscles to respond more slowly during your workout, increasing your chances of injury. Warm up within your normal, comfortable range of motion, and save the stretching for after your workout when your muscles are already primed to stretch more easily.
Not hydrating properly DURING your workout.
It’s important to hydrate during your workout, especially a lengthy one or even a short workout performed in extreme weather conditions. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty or have side cramps - drink a few ounces every 10-20 minutes to avoid dehydration.
Not having enough protein AFTER your workout.
Carb loading is great for before your workout - especially for intense aerobic activities like long distance running. After your workout, however, the key is protein. Your muscles need protein so they can repair from the microdamages incurred during particularly intense workouts. A quick protein shake can be enough to help jump-start the repair process.