Woman resting after outdoor workout

Sports Nutrition & Support

​​How to Avoid Common Post-Workout Mistakes​

Herbalife 19 October 2023

If you have a busy schedule, then there’s a good chance that you’re cutting corners post-workout. You may be making some simple mistakes that could be slowing down your progress. Here are six common post-workout mistakes that you should try to avoid.

Skipping Your Cool Down

A good cool-down can really help your body recover from any level of workout. Immediately after your workout is the ideal time to start working on improving flexibility. A proper cool down is an essential part of your workout.

Heating instead of Ice

It feels great to get into a sauna or steam room after an intense exercise session, but the thermic stress that you put on your body is not necessarily good for you. During your workout, your body has to work overtime to keep you cool. Adding in extra heat post-workout may stress out your body. Most athletes use ice after a workout, or have a cold shower, to help with the cooling down process.

Stopping Abruptly

When you exercise, your blood pressure rises in order to cope with the increased demands you are placing on your body. If you just stop moving after pushing yourself during a workout, your body’s need for increased blood flow diminishes. Your best bet is to gradually reduce your exercise intensity, and then stop. For example, if you’re on a run, gradually reduce your speed and intensity over a 10-minute period until you’re eventually in a relaxed walk.

Not Taking Care of Your Skin

A lot of people finish their workout and leave the gym before washing their hands and face. They may be heading home to jump straight into the shower, but in that short time they can spread germs and increase the chances of having an unnecessary breakout. Wash your face and hands thoroughly before leaving the gym.

Not Hydrating

When you exercise, especially in a hot climate, your body sweats in order to effectively cool down your body temperature. Forgetting to rehydrate after your workout can be dangerous, leading to dehydration and fatigue. As you finish your workout, be sure to start sipping an electrolyte-balanceddrink to help your body recover and replace all the fluid you lost.

Forgetting to eat

Some people naturally feel hungry after a gym session, so they eat a healthy snack. Others are so busy rushing back to work that they forget to eat. Eating protein and carbohydrates post-workout can help your body to repair and replenish its energy stores. Forgetting to nourish your body after a workout can slow down your muscle-building results. Try to have a protein-rich snack within right after your workout.2

1ACSM, 2016
2Jager et al., 2017