How Serious Are These Exercise Mistakes
By Sara Butler
When it comes to exercise and overall health, there are some mistakes that are obvious. If you forego the gym and live on a diet of pizza and beer, that obviously does not make you the poster child for good health. But what about some mistakes that may not be so glaringly obvious – how bad are they really?
Skipping the Stretch
So, you had a great workout – kudos to you! The one caveat: You didn’t stretch before or after. Are you doomed?
No one is perfect and once in a while, you may be rushed to get a workout in and not take the time you need to stretch out. That isn’t a terrible offense, as long as it’s not a habit. Proper stretching prior to your workout helps your muscles to perform more efficiently and will also reduce your chance of sustaining an injury. Stretching after you get your sweat on will help your muscles to recover and relax. So, they’re both really important.
If you only have time to stretch either before or after you exercise, you’re better off going with the warm-up. Just don’t make skipping proper stretching a part of your everyday plan!
The Post Workout Smoothie
If your idea of a great reward for working so hard at the gym is a yummy smoothie, you may want to rethink it. Smoothies tend to be calorie-laden sugar bombs and can have up to 500 calories. Not many people burn 500 calories a workout, so you’re probably overeating by throwing a smoothie into the mix.
The only time you can really get away with a smoothie is if your workout was an hour long or more. Instead of buying them at the store or your favorite smoothie place, make your own at home so you can control what goes into it. One to two servings of both vegetables and fruit is a great ratio to aim for, and don’t forget the protein by adding nut butter or whey powder.
You Skipped the Gym – For a Week
You’re not going to undo all of your progress by skipping the gym, but don’t allow one week to turn into two or more. It’s important to get back on the wagon after some time off. Two weeks is the magic number since that’s the milestone where you’re losing some of the power and endurance you’ve worked so hard to gain.