You feel great after a workout, everyone does. Even if you’re out of breath, tired beyond belief or covered in sweat, you feel like you accomplished something as you walk to the locker room. There’s something to be said for getting your exercise in, but it’s completely possible that you might be sabotaging your progress with post-workout practices that are detrimental to your goals.


Here are 5 post-workout habits that are holding you back.


Rewarding– This is an easy trap to fall into. You’ve had a good lift or run, and you think to yourself that you deserve a little extra splurge. A few chips while you watch a movie turns into the whole bag and faster than you can say ‘binge eating,’ it turns into a weekly occurrence. As humans, we’re used to be rewarded when we do a good job but overeating isn’t a reward, it’s an obstacle. Fix it by portioning out your after workout snacks or celebratory meals.


Hydrating– We’ve talked about it before, but not hydrating after exercising can be damaging to your body and prevent you from benefitting as much as you should. Nowadays, more people are bringing water bottles to the gym or even to work, and they’re right.


CoolDown– The cooldown is the natural enemy of the quick workout; it takes time and feels like like not doing enough. The truth is that by allowing your body to cool down, you’ll prevent muscle soreness but also encourage better continued blood flow throughout your body leading to longer and stronger benefits from your time spent in the gym.


Rest– It may seem obvious, but resting is really important. Resting really encompasses two things, honoring rest days and getting a good night’s sleep, especially after a vigorous workout. Your body needs that time to recharge and heal. You don’t have to lay still on your rest days; you can encourage your progress by performing light exercise like playing a sport with friends or going for a walk.


Relax– Don’t just kick back on a recliner, relax your muscles using a massager or tennis ball. Loosen the groups you just worked to make recovery easier and maximize blood flow across the entire length of the muscle.

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Whether you’re taking one of our group classes like yoga in Marlton, NJ or doing chest day at our gyms around Voorhees, NJ, it’s important to treat your body right before, during and after your workout.