We've all heard it- no pain, no gain! Muscle soreness is one of the byproducts of having a regular exercise routine that we'd be happy to do without. However, since that seems to be out of the question let's talk about what you can do to at least reduce the pain and soreness you feel post-exercise.
After you complete a workout, your muscles become shortened which is the primary cause of the soreness you end up feeling. Though it can be a little painful to stretch them out after you exercise it will speed up your recovery process and lessen your pain experienced in the following days. Take a good 15 to 20 minutes to stretch out all your primary muscle groups before you exercise and consider taking a couple yoga classes each week if you have the time to further increase your flexibility and strength.
Applying heat, in general, will promote blood to circulate more effectively and deliver critical nutrients to your muscle groups that need them most for recovery. If you have specific areas of your body that needs pain relief, a heat wrap could very well become your new best friend as this will target the area and loosen the tightness or stiffness of the muscle and surrounding areas with moist heat. Moist heat will relax you and improve your mobility. It's best to apply heat a couple hours after your body has cooled down.
Whether you get one from a professional, rub them yourself, or enlist the help of a dear friend, massaging your muscles is another way you can stimulate blood flow and lengthen your muscles. It also induces relaxation and a sense of wellbeing similar to that of meditation, and when your mind is in this relaxed state, it can focus more on healing itself.
Hydrate and Eat Right
Hydration is key to recovery, especially if you are one who sweats excessively. Drinking water helps to nourish the muscles and prevents painful cramps that are a result of dehydration. If you're working out in hot weather or doing extremely vigorous exercise, then drink some coconut water to naturally replenish your body with electrolytes. Grab a banana while you're at it as this food is high in potassium that helps to alleviate pain. Add some peanut butter for a post-workout snack that's high in protein or throw all three ingredients into a blender with some ice for a smoothie!
You may not be able to avoid muscle soreness altogether, but you can use the tips provided in this article to reduce discomfort and speed up your recovery process!