TIPS FOR RELIEVING SORE MUSCLES
Workouts are brutal on your muscles, which is expected. However, a common misconception is that sore muscles are a sign of a quality workout- but that’s not the case. Sore muscles are not a necessity when you’re looking to get results from your workouts, but it can be inevitable if you’re either doing new workouts or if you’re pushing yourself a little too hard.
Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is the result of intense exercise that can cause micro-tears in your muscle tissue. It develops anywhere between 12 to 24 hours after a tough workout and can last for a few days causing slight swelling, stiffness, increased tenderness and more. But taking the right steps after your workout can allow you to kick your workout into high gear without having negative effects afterwards. Here are a few things to incorporate into your post workoutplan to prevent unnecessary muscle pain:
This seems like common sense, but it’s a step that many forget or don’t incorporate as much as they should into their workout routine. Stretching is your best line of defense to keep your muscles healthy after a workout. When you workout, your muscles contract and the muscle fibers get shorter so lengthening them afterwards helps with recovery and mobility.
Foam rollers is a form of massage that you can incorporate into your fitness plan for before your workout, after, or both. It’s a great way to loosen up sore muscles and aid in muscle recovery.
Foam rollers have several benefits whether you’re an experienced athlete or new to exercise. In addition to improved flexibility, better circulation, and increased range of motion, foam rollers can substantially reduce the effects of DOMS after a tough workout.
Heat increases circulation and is helpful for recovery in between workouts- whether it’s a jacuzzi, a hot shower or a heating pad. Be sure to avoid excessive heat directly after a training session however- this can cause inflammation in your already sore muscles, causing additional soreness rather than preventing it.
Heat is a good option for in between workouts, while ice is a great option for directly after your workout to prevent inflammation and help heal your muscles. While the effectiveness of ice is up for debate, it remains a safe and simple option to prevent any kind of muscle soreness and allows you to keep moving which also promotes healing.
There’s nothing you’d rather do less than keep moving after a tough workout, but that’s exactly what your body needs. Active recovery is designed to help your body work out any soreness that may develop after an intense session. If you’re doing a program that doesn’t have an active recovery option, be sure to include one into your routine. This could include a gentle yoga session, going for a walk or a hike, or any other low impact option that can be used anytime you need it.
If you use a heart rate monitor, active recovery should keep your heart rate at 140 beats per minute or less.
UNCONVENTIONAL YET EFFECTIVE TIPS
In addition to stretching and icing your muscles, there are a few more unconventional ways to help with muscle soreness that many are not aware of!
Tart cherry juice is an incredible superfood due to the high level of antioxidants and the ability to decrease in muscle soreness. Add a splash to your post work out smoothie or enjoy some cherry juice before bed for a sweet, healthy treat.
Whether you take caffeine or are a regular coffee drinker, caffeine is a great way to reduce muscle soreness in women after a workout. Be sure to watch your intake with this option- too much caffeine can cause muscle spasms. Keep it to roughly the equivalent of two cups of coffee. (This is also a great way to boost your workout performance!)
The primary component of Epsom salts is magnesium which is essential for maintaining healthy muscles and is also a great natural muscle relaxant. Adding natural Epsom salt to a warm bath is actually more effective than if you took an oral magnesium supplement. Your skin will absorb the magnesium and directly aid in muscle repair.
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