One of the biggest complaints I hear from my challengers is how sore they are after starting a workout program. Well yeah… if you haven’t done these moves before, you are gonna be sore. Even if you are a seasoned athlete, you can get sore after a workout if you are changing things up often enough. Your muscles are literally tearing. Minuscule tears, but tears nonetheless. This leads to the obvious pain you are experiencing, swelling and water retention and even pressure in your joints. Here are a few tips for helping to get rid of that muscle soreness quickly so you can get back to walking normally rather than with that new swagger you’ve developed.
- Drink lots of water. It is no surprise that this is on the list. Water is like a miracle worker. Staying hydrated can do so many things for your body, but it is also going to help flush out toxins and help your muscles recover faster.
- Take a hot bath or shower. The hot water will warm up your muscles, increase circulation and cause more oxygen to flow through your bloodstream helping muscles heal faster. The heat also helps relax tense muscles. However, heat like that from a jacuzzi immediately following a workout can actually increase inflammation and result in more soreness later.
- Eat healthy fats and protein. Protein is key in helping your muscle recovery, primarily within 2-3 hours after a workout and when you are sleeping. Healthy fats that have omega 3 fatty acids such as oils, avocados, nuts and nut butters help battle toxins and reduce irritation in muscle tissue. They also have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help you recover faster.
- Do active recovery workouts. Workouts like yoga, Pilates and stretching can help muscles feel more relaxed and less sore. When you train, your muscles contract and the fibers get shorter. Workouts that focus on stretching and lengthening muscles will help the soreness go away. On these days, do not push yourself too hard. Only stretch to the point where you feel a slight pull. You don’t want to hurt yourself more.
- Get a massage. Kneading the muscles can actually help to reduce inflammation and tightness in muscles. If you are not able to get a massage, you can also use a foam roller and do it yourself. It may hurt a little while getting the massage or foam rolling, but it will feel much better once you are done.
- Sleep more. Your body repairs and cleans itself while you sleep. Muscles do not develop while working them. They actually grow and repair themselves while you sleep – with the help or protein, like I mentioned before.
- Take ibuprofen. This is an easy one. This is the best pain reliever for muscle soreness since it works to reduce inflammation. This is usually my last resort for muscle recovery because I don’t like to take medicine unless I really need it.
So there you go! Seven ways you can help reduce muscle soreness post-workout. Now get out there and get moving!