When you’re working out, you want to give it your all—and while that seems pretty easy to do, it can actually be challenging if your pre- and post-workout habits compromise them. And you may not realize you’re making these mistakes, which will leave you feeling lost and confused and may leave you to forgo your new fitness plan altogether.
Luckily, you can avoid this by making sure your healthy lifestyle is on point and you’re best serving yourself before, during and after your workouts. Here are a few common mishaps to be mindful of, as well as what to do instead. With a few tweaks, you’ll find your energy to bounce back and be able to achieve greater results moving forward!
Eating Too Large of a Meal Right Before
You need a little snack before a workout for fuel but you don’t want to go overboard. This can leave you with indigestion, which might lead to cramps and discomfort where you won’t be able to get through your workout with the same stamina and effort you’d normally have. Keep it small—and a tip? Don’t go for super high fiber foods, like beans or broccoli, as you’ll get gassy!
Working Out on Empty
While eating too much can backfire, you may need something in your belly to get enough energy to really tackle those miles or push up the intensity. Some people thrive on fasting before a workout (like in the morning), but others don’t. I definitely do not! If you feel lethargic on empty, then grab a snack for future workouts. Try a banana with a little bit of nut butter.
Getting in Your Head Too Much
If you’re overthinking your workouts, you may put excess pressure on yourself and psych yourself out. Have goals set, like reaching a certain mileage or getting to a higher rep count of weights, but make sure you’re not setting unrealistic goals (too lofty too fast can lead to disappointment or injury!) and you’re not beating yourself up for slowing down for a moment or taking a break in between sets.
Do go in with direction and goals though! Without them you won’t know what you’re seeking to accomplish and you won’t have that drive to really achieve results you can be proud of.
Getting Too Comfortable
Sometimes if we train well enough in a few moves or we consistently achieve a goal we tend to stay comfy and stick with them—yet this is not how to progress and find greater success long-term. Instead of staying on that set 3-mile run or using the same weights for months, tell yourself when you’re ready for that bump up and go after it.
Not Stretching and Recovering Properly
Beyond just the workout, stretching and nutrition recovery is just as important, as that’s how you can gain and protect muscle to have positive performance during future workouts. So, take time to grab a foam roller and stretch it out for 10-15 minutes post-workout. And eat within 30 minutes to an hour—a Quest Protein Bar will do the trick!
Working Out Too Often or For Too Long
If you’re hitting the same high intensity workout or lifting weights each day you are putting too much pressure on your body and soon enough you’ll find yourself with overtraining side effects, like fatigue, compromised performance and even loss in muscle. Give yourself a rest day or do something low impact and low intensity on recovery days, like a leisurely bike ride or a walk in the park