Are You Making These Five Post-Run Mistakes?

A Healthier Michigan

| 2 min read

Silhouette of young woman jogging on shore at sunrise.
Most people want to kick off their sneakers and plop on the sofa after a run, but that’s not such a good idea! What you do after pounding the pavement can be as important for your overall health as the miles you just ran. We’ve compiled some of the most common post-workout mistakes runners make (and the painful consequences of these habits).
You skip out on the cool down. Experts agree that not allowing your heart rate and blood pressure to gradually return to normal levels can drastically increase your chances of injuries including shin splints, sprained ankles, fluid behind the knee and tight muscles that can prolong your recovery. Instead of stopping right in front your door after a run, walk around the block at a slow to normal pace.
You don’t completely stretch out. Sure, you stretch your hamstrings and quads a little, but what about your hips, back and upper body? Running is a full body workout and you need to stretch your entire body to reduce delayed soreness and tensed muscles.
You stay in your sweaty clothes. As comfy as that t-shirt and shorts are, sweaty clothes and gear retain moisture. Wearing them for a long period of time after you’re done with the run can lead to icky things like yeast infections and skin irritations.
You don’t grab a snack. Most runners make sure they have a snack before the run, but it’s just as important to have a high protein, carb-loaded snack afterwards to fuel your body and keep your energy up.
You reach for a celebratory drink instead of water. Drinking alcohol immediately after a workout slows your muscles recovery, dehydrates your body and increases your risk of blood clots. Water is your best bet for at least 30 minutes after your run. Don’t like water? Try chocolate milk!
Photo credit: Getty Images

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.