Something happened this week - after 4 months, I finally made it over the hump to where I actually really enjoy going to the gym. I've always heard that if you do anything for 30-days it becomes a habit - which it did for me, I just didn't like having to go to the gym. I realize that I love the way I feel afterwards, I enjoy working with my trainer, and I like the friendships I've built with my gym-mates. Would I rather be able to sit on the couch, eating chips and queso and watching TV after a long day of work? Abso-freakin-lutely. However, since that's not possible with my short and long-term goals of a healthy body and life - I might as well embrace my many hours spent in the gym per week. So yay me - I finally made it! For those of you that are also frequenting the gym, here are a few post-workout mistakes that we all have made and should correct:
1. A 12 oz. bottle of Gatorade contains 330 calories. That's almost as many calories as a serving of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream! If you're doing a regular 30- to 60-minute workout, rehydrate with good old-fashioned water. If you're concerned about replacing lost electrolytes, go for a low-calorie coconut water.
2. The post-workout cool-down and stretching session is essential to your workout because it allows your heart rate to slowly return to its normal pace and can prevent soreness and injury by stretching out the muscles you just used.
3. You wouldn't ball up your sweaty sports bra and then slip it on the next time you work out, so why do the same thing with your yoga mat? Keep in mind that dark, moist places are breeding grounds for bacteria. After getting home from class, wipe down your mat and hang it over a door or banister so it can dry
4. Aside from feeling disgusting, staying in sweaty clothes can lead to a yeast infection or body acne. And although going outside in wet clothes won't make you sick, when you walk out into the freezing air, your wet clothes are going to make you very chilly, and being cold for too long can weaken the immune system. Change out of your wet clothes as soon as possible.