Whether you’re talking to someone about your fitness plan or reading exercise articles, there is usually plenty of advice about what you should do.

What’s often glossed over are the things you should avoid doing after a workout to ensure you don’t sabotage your results.

Skip a cooldown

Sure, it may only be five or 10 minutes, but a cooldown is just as important as your workout  physically and mentally.

Stretching, using foam rollers or walking on a treadmill enables muscles to recover faster and helps decrease aches and pains so you’re ready for your next workout.

A cooldown is also a time to lower your heart rate, clear your mind and refocus on whatever portion of your day remains.

Put away the water bottle

Even though you try to drink a lot of water during your workout, don’t stop after you finish.  

You’ve likely sweated and your body needs to replenish those fluids, especially if you’ve hit the bathroom after your workout. The key is pacing yourself and drinking water over a period of time after you’re done.

Staying hydrated helps with muscle recovery, makes you feel fuller and clears toxins out of your body.

Check your phone

Don’t finish your workout and immediately check your cellphone to see if you missed a call, text or email.

If you did miss an important message, it could lead to negative feelings about the workout you just had and that’s not good for motivation or sustaining a fitness plan.

Give yourself some time after you’re done to sit quietly and deal with anything that may have come up during your workout.

Analyze your workout

Don’t reduce the positive feelings from working out by picking apart the exercises you’ve just completed. 

You’re not always going to have done the best lift, ran as fast as you wanted to or get through all your exercises. But guess what? You went to the gym and you need to be proud of that.

You accomplished something so find the good in what you achieved. There’s always another opportunity to make adjustments so don’t focus on the negative.

Sit back and relax

Just because you crushed a good workout doesn’t mean you’ve earned the right to sit around for the rest of the day.

You should consciously do some movement, whether that’s walking around the office on your breaks, doing your work at a standing desk or combining TV time at home with stretches. It’s also a good idea to focus on breathing properly and having the correct posture.

Eat whatever you want

Everyone’s appetite is different, but you need to eat something after a workout. The key is not picking up a burger and fries on your way home from the gym because you think your workout makes up for those extra calories.

Sensible choices such as fruit, vegetables or lean protein offer nutrients to help fuel your body and prepare it for the next workout.

Downplay getting a good night’s sleep

We all know it’s important to get quality sleep, but that’s especially true on the days you exercise.

Wherever you are on the sleep scale (needing seven to nine hours a night), deliberately plan your nightly routine. Limit screen time before you head to bed and ensure your bedroom is dark and cool.

Sleep helps with muscle recovery and prepares you mentally and physically for the next day. Proper sleep can also impact eating patterns.

Forget your manners

In the midst of a workout, or after it’s finished, it’s easy to forget to clean up after yourself. That means putting away the equipment you’ve used, unracking the weights, wiping down the machine or mat you’ve been on and tossing your towels in the laundry.

Yes, these actions are common courtesy to other gym members, but there’s more to it than good manners.

Doing these routine things is about having discipline, which is part of reaching your fitness goals.

Maximizing results
When you leave the gym, your body has a higher metabolism. It’s still burning calories more efficiently and you want to continue to get results for as a long as possible.

Avoiding these eight actions promotes your results  physically and mentally  and also helps enable you to go to the gym multiple days of the week.