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11 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Fitness Goals

11 Post-Workout Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Fitness Goals

If you are working hard to reach your fitness goals, you might struggle to reach them if your post-workout habits are not quite as healthy as your training sessions. So, what are the post-workout mistakes you should avoid? The following factors are some of the key things to avoid.

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    1. Under-training:

    You need to train enough to get the results you are looking for. Training once a week will not lead to significant results. You need to consistently train at least three times a week.

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      2. Overtraining:

      Training too much is as bad as not training enough, if not worse. Your muscles need to recover in-between workouts. If you don’t let your body recover you will not see great results, as it’s when your body is recovering from exercise that your muscles and nervous system are growing stronger. It is likely that you will only achieve 70% of your potential by overtraining, and there is a strong possibility you will get injured or sick.

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        3. Sleep Deprivation:

        It is important to get to sleep by 10 p.m as this is when your body is focused on body repair. Also you should aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night, as the body focuses on psychological repair from 2 a.m to 6 a.m. If you are tired it is impossible to have a truly amazing workout. And if you are tired it is very easy to eat the wrong types of food. So get to bed on time.

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          4. Protein Deficient Diet:

          Your body needs protein to recover from your training session and help build more muscle. You want to have protein at every meal, including breakfast. It is very easy to be deficient in protein if you are eating a diet of cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Look carefully at what you are eating and ask yourself if you are getting enough. If you are training the minimum amount of protein you need daily is 1g per kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 60kg you need 60g of protein a day.

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            5. Highly Processed Food:

            The food you are eating has to be of the very best quality so you can get the most out of your training sessions. The very best quality is organic unprocessed natural foods. These foods have the most nutrition and least toxins. If you are eating foods where the ingredients sound like something out of a chemistry lab, you are not doing your body any favors.

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              6. Dehydrated Body:

              If your urine is darker than straw colored you are likely to be dehydrated. This is a disaster for your training as even a 1% level of dehydration will have a significant impact on your fitness. Make sure you take a bottle of spring water with you when you are training. Also, aim to drink at least 2 liters of water a day.

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                7. High Stress Lifestyle:

                If your life is highly stressful it would be very difficult for you to achieve great fitness results. The body prioritizes dealing with stress over body repair. When the body is under stress it releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol breaks down muscle and promotes fat storage. Find ways of reducing your stress load; maybe take up qi gong or tai chi.

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                  8. Not the Right Balance of Macro Nutrients:

                  Everyone has a different balance of macro nutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) that works most efficiently for their body. For example, some people can tolerate very little carbohydrate without packing on the pounds whereas the next person can eat a great deal more carbohydrate and be in perfect shape. You can find out what the ideal combination of fat, protein and carbohydrate is for your body by completing a metabolic type questionnaire.

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                    9. Emotional Eating:

                    Another mistake is to view food in an emotional way, rather than in a more rational manner. Many people eat certain foods to make them feel better; or comfort eat. If you can view food like fuel for your body that is much better as you would eat when hungry and stop when slightly full.

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                      10. Binging on Alcohol:

                      Binging on alcohol is a big no-no when it comes to training. I have trained with a hangover and I can tell you that it is simply a waste of a training session, you may as well not bother. Alcohol can also pack on the pounds as its high in calories with no real nutritional benefit. Alcohol is also dehydrating which is stressful on the body, which negatively impacts on your fitness session. If you want to go out and socialize, I would strongly suggest having a sensible limit on the amount you drink.

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                        11. Skipping the Stretch:

                        Many people skip stretching after their workout which is really stupid as stretching is important to bring down your stress hormones. Stretching also helps your body recover after your workout by minimizing the muscle stiffness you can get after a workout; which means you can train sooner rather than later.

                        Featured photo credit: Photo Pin via farm6.staticflickr.com

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                        Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                        The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                        At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                        Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                        One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                        When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                        So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                        Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                        This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                        Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                        When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                        Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                        One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                        Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                        An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                        When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                        Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                        Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                        We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                        By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                        Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                        While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                        I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                        You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                        Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                        When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                        Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                        Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                        Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                        One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                        Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                        Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                        This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                        While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                        Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                        Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                        This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                        For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                        Con #4: Unique Distractions

                        Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                        For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                        To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                        We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                        More About Working From Home

                        Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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