How to Relieve Muscle Soreness in Five Easy Steps
Exercise is associated with so many health benefits (bone strengthening, increase in heart health, maintains blood sugar, improves mental health, etc.), but there are some downfalls to introducing new forms of movement into your routine. We’re talking muscle soreness. You know the feeling. Twenty four hours after an intense workout your muscles hurt so badly that it’s hard for you to walk. We’ve all been there. Thankfully, you don’t have to feel that way forever! With consistent exercise, your muscles will adapt to the new stress, and as a result, will be less sore after each workout. But how do you deal with the pain while you have it? We talk more about that below!
Why do muscles get sore?
During intense activities, lactic acid builds up in the muscles and creates microscopic muscle tears which can cause pain up to 72 hours after your workout. Not very glamorous huh? Well, we have five easy steps you can do to prevent and relieve muscle aches and soreness.
5 Steps to Relieve Muscle Soreness
1. Stay Hydrated
During exercise, you are losing water which is why you should grab a sip every 15 minutes. Proper hydration helps remove excess toxins (lactic acid) that start to build up in your muscles.
It’s tempting to immediately stop and go lie on the couch as soon as your workout is complete, but believe us, you are doing yourself a favor when you take time to properly stretch and cool down. Stretching prevents your muscles from tightening and holding on to more lactic acid post exercise.
3. Grab a post workout snack
After an intense workout, your body needs fuel to repair those little muscle tears we talked about earlier. A general rule is to have a 3:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio post workout. Try having an apple and peanut butter, some almonds and fruit, or even some chocolate milk!
4. Take a cold shower
Although a cold showers isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, cold therapy helps reduce inflammation in tired achy muscles. The less inflammation, the less pain you will experience.
This may sound obvious, but resting your body is just as important as any other “hack” anyone recommends. To allow your muscles to recover and get stronger, you have to give them time to repair. If you are sore, but you still want to exercise, try opting for a gentle form of movement such as walking, pilates, or yoga.
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