Our Fitness Blog
How to Relieve Sore Muscles
It is normal to experience a little soreness after working out, especially if you have added a few changes to your fitness routine. It can be fun to mix it up every now and then, but muscle soreness is something you probably can expect when you do this. If you up the intensity, lengthen your workout time or perform new exercises, your body has to have the time to get use to it. This all adds up to a higher risk of experiencing some body aches. So, how do you cope with these aches and still continue your fitness routine? Here are a few tips to help you get through these times and back to your fitness routine as soon as possible.
Indirectly ice it. Most experts recommend wrapping an ice pack in a thin towel and applying it to the affected area. This should give you instant relief, help lessen swelling and speed healing. While a heat pack may feel great while it is on, it will not lessen the damage done or help your aches go away sooner. So, you should put ice on the sore area, and if you feel the need to add heat later, it will not hurt. In fact, heat will help to increase your circulation and ease your joint pain when applied after your ice pack.
Take a bath. Many people love the feeling of a nice bath on their sore and achy muscles. It can enhance your circulation and give you some temporary relief from the pain. Also, if you add epsom salts to your bath, you can get an added boost to relieving your sore muscles. You can even find epsom salts that are specifically geared towards relieving those sore and achy muscles. You could even splurge on some nicely scented ones that will help you relax after your long, hard workout. Warm is nice, just don't go too hot with your bath or you may end up feeling overheated.
Drink plenty of water. We all know that water is a main component of our workouts. We have to stay hydrated. If you become dehydrated, it will only make your sore muscles feel worse. Therefore, you should always drink plenty of water before, during and the entire day of your workout to try to prevent more of the onset of sore muscles and to help ease the pain just in case you happen to overdo it. Remember to drink extra water on the days you workout to account for water lost through sweat.
Post Workout stretching. Before you cool all the way down, you need to stretch your muscles. This is when your muscles are like soft, cooked noodles. They aren't as stiff after a workout and will stretch farther than when they are cold. The goal is not to allow them to stiffen before you get the chance to stretch them. By stretching, you are helping your muscles become more flexible and increasing the flow of oxygen to them. This increased oxygen will help your muscles relax and recover. So, you need to remember to stretch at the end of every workout to reduce your chances of being sore and achy. Just a few simple stretches for a minute and a half is incredibly helpful.
Rest. You need to get plenty of sleep and relaxation. Sleep is the time your body uses to repair itself, so by denying yourself sleep, you are denying your body the chance to repair itself. You also need to take it easy until your muscles have completely healed. This means cutting back on your workout if you're more sore than just a little bit. There's sore, and then there's "car wreck sore". If you're brand new to working out, you might feel the latter. If so, take a day or more off until the soreness is more mild. You do not have to quit your fitness routine entirely, but you need to pay attention to your body and try not push yourself too hard while your body is trying to recover. Play it safe and take it easy for a few days, and then see how your body feels before jumping back into your normal fitness routine.
It is normal to experience muscle soreness every now and then from your fitness routine, but if you are experiencing it more and more or if the pain is more intense, then you need to seek the advice of your doctor. You do not want to have an injury and push through it because you will only end up making the injury much worse and taking a longer break from your fitness routine than you planned. Remember also, if you workout often, you may not feel sore very often, but that does NOT mean that you didn't workout hard. It just means your body has adapted! Enjoy your fitness journey.