Muscle soreness can be a very rewarding feeling for some, I used to absolutely love the feeling after a workout, but not so much anymore as I find that it interferes with my day.
Muscle soreness can be the result of a variety of factors, some positive and some negative. A difficult workout usually leads to muscle fatigue. A long day at work and lack of nutritious food can also cause muscle exhaustion.
To properly heal your muscle soreness, you need to adopt the tips I explore below.
Dynamic stretching is something I strongly advise before working out to warm up the muscles and to avoid injury, you only need 2 minutes pre-workout.
Static stretching is a simple and effective way of easing the soreness in your muscles after working out. With three to five minutes of stretching after exercise, you can prevent muscles strains and soreness.
My number one way to relieve muscle soreness is using a method called self-myofascial stretching. Self-myofascial means self-massage, using a foam roller or tennis ball to aid you. By rolling on a foam roller, you can apply pressure to the aching muscles to break up any tension in the tissues.
While the experience is uncomfortable, you will feel relieved and relaxed at the end. Self-myofascial stretching can help reduce soreness, pain, and tension in the muscles and can help improve muscle length. However, make sure to warm up before you exercise, as this is essential to the prevention of muscle injuries and soreness while performing workouts.
Just because your muscles are aching does not mean you shouldn’t exercise. While it can be uncomfortable to workout with sore muscles, the mere fact that you now have sore muscles is proof that you have stretched your muscles and they are now getting longer and stronger.
You can consolidate the gains with light exercises, which can increase the blood circulation in the sore areas to help reduce muscle pain and accelerate the recovery process.
Walking, light jogging and swimming are exercises you can do with less discomfort when your muscles are not ready for the heavy action. Nevertheless, it is vital to always listen to your body.
Be sure to eat the right foods. When you have sore muscles, it’s important to eat protein-rich meals because these nutrients are the building block of muscles and a critical factor in the recovery process.
You should also eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, ginger, garlic, veggies, and others because they can help fight inflammation, reduce pain, and promote a speedy recovery. A deficiency of potassium can also make muscle soreness and pain more intense, so be sure to get an adequate supply of food rich in the mineral.
I always ensure that I eat a portion of carbohydrates after a workout as during a workout glycogen levels are massively reduced which means we need to top them up for the glycogen to go straight to the muscle cells for rebuilding and recovering and to power us up for the next workout.
If you’re not properly hydrated, muscle soreness can become worse. Drink 2-3 litres of water per day because dehydration can worsen the pain and soreness in your muscles after workouts. In addition, to keeping your metabolic activity in order and helping to regulate your body temperature, drinking a lot of water can also get rid of toxins from your body.
Listening to your body is important; sometimes you do actually need a rest. While some muscle soreness is due to simply just working out, some cases of muscle pain are due to people overtraining without allowing the body enough time to rest and recover. I am guilty of this, being a personal trainer and performing multiple workouts per day I do end up pushing a bit too far sometimes. However, this is self-defeating because muscle repair and building takes place during rest and sleep.
If you train regularly, muscle soreness and pain should be a regular part of your routine. Nevertheless, the trick is to know how to manage your body to continue training with consistency. I hope these tips will come handy the next time your muscles become inflamed due to exercise.