We all know that working out is incredibly important and beneficial to our health, but having sore muscles after stepping up your workout routine can be a deterrent from future workouts. While some people believe that having sore muscles is essential for growth in your fitness journey, it is impossible for you to grow when you’re almost too sore to even move or carry out your normal day to day activities. If you are feeling sore after your workouts, here are some tips that can help you.
How to alleviate sore muscles after a workout.
The good news is there are a variety of ways to alleviate muscle soreness once it has set in, even priming your muscles to become less sore in the future (provided you’re working out at an intensity that meets your skill level!)
Taking the time to stretch before and after your workout is one of the best ways to manage muscle soreness while also working toward injury prevention and mobility. Stretching and cooling down after your workout can help ease your muscles and prevent soreness.
A balanced diet
As always, the food you’re eating on a regular basis can have a significant impact on muscle soreness and general comfort in your body. It is very key to have an adequate amount of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrate already in your body prior to working out.
What you eat after a workout can also help reduce muscle soreness, and it’s important to remember that your diet functions as an equally vital factor in recovery. If you are planning to snack, have some fruits. If you’re eating dinner, have options that are high in protein, carbs, and fiber.
Hydrating snacks after a strenuous workout can also help to replenish lost electrolytes and allow you to feel great.
Some great recovery food options include:
- Chicken breast
There’s a reason massage tools have become so popular: These forms of percussive therapy really can help with muscle recovery after a tough workout. But while they can be useful, it’s important to exercise some caution with this tool. Do not use a massage gun within 12 hours of intense exercise because this could actually make the microtears you’ve created in the gym even worse, causing more damage to the muscle and delaying recovery. Instead, wait 24 hours or until you feel the stiffness from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) to use the massage gun.”
Splurge on a massage
Now, this isn’t a daily solution to soreness, but if you’re feeling in need of a full-body reset, you might consider splurging on a massage to help ease some of the tightness in your muscles. A massage could help with an increase in circulation and blood flow, as well as stimulate the nervous system in preparation for your next workout.
Eastern medicine can also provide a unique set of benefits to the body, specifically as it connects to muscle soreness. In fact, acupuncture can be a great tool for relieving tension in the body and allowing you to relax more effectively.
Take a rest day
While being sore isn’t always a sign that you need to take a break, sometimes it is your body calling for a little rest and recovery. Especially if you’ve been struggling with muscle soreness for several days without relief, this is a telltale indicator you might want to take a day to rest your muscles and recharge your energy. In fact, rest days should really be a mainstay in your workout routine anyway—soreness aside.
When to call the doctor
There is a distinct difference between soreness and pain, and it’s with the latter sensation that you should consider seeking an expert opinion for before returning to the gym. Muscle soreness is incredibly normal, and sometimes trying a new form of exercise is to blame, not even necessarily overexertion.
That being said, if you are experiencing significant pain after exercising and while carrying out your daily activities, this is a red flag that your workout was too intense.
While muscle soreness isn’t essential to denote a good workout, it is a common result of exercise. That said, working out at a level that challenges your body while staying mindful of your current strength and abilities is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t overexert yourself. Plus, taking care to drink plenty of water, eat a nutrient-dense diet, warm up and cool down, and give your muscles some TLC will help give your body what it needs to feel fantastic.
Remember, every individual body is different and requires unique care, so recognizing which methods of treating soreness work best for you will allow you to reap the most benefit from your workouts in the long run.
DISCLAIMER: These posts should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, physical or psychiatric condition.Information shared via posts does not replace professional healthcare advice specific to your condition and needs. If you are unsure whether you would benefit from implementing tools discussed in these posts, please contact your healthcare provider.