Exercising is awesome and it can produce so many benefits in our lives, but if you’re used to working out you know that sometimes you can get muscle soreness after a really tough workout! Or maybe you’re just starting to get in the habit of exercising but you’re finding it tough to get through the extreme muscle soreness you feel after. Muscle soreness can be frustrating, but there are many ways to try and prevent extreme soreness as well as reducing the soreness you’ll feel 24-48 hours after your workout. Here are a few things you can do that and help reduce the soreness you’re feeling!
“Why Am I So Sore?”
The soreness you feel after a workout is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. It’s also because during a really tough workout your muscles are getting tiny tears in them. This causes inflammation.
This just means you’re body is changing and getting stronger (which is awesome), but it’s important to listen to your body when you feel this soreness and give your body the proper conditions to recover so you can come back to the gym even stronger!
1. Stretching And Foam Rolling
Stretching before, during, and especially after your workout is so good for your body and mind. It feels amazing and will help to relax and soothe the muscles that you’ve just worked. It’s not proven that stretching after a tough workout will significantly reduce soreness, but I notice that after I workout and make sure to really stretch afterwards I feel so much better than if I were to not stretch. Stretching will also elongate your muscles and help you to gain flexibility if you keep up with it every day! There are so many benefits to stretching after your workout and it’s something that should not be skipped.
Foam rolling is similar to stretching but it’s proven that it’ll reduce soreness after a tough workout! It feels amazing and it’ll help your muscles to relax. When you’re foam rolling and find a sore spot, stop and stay on that spot for about 30 seconds to help the muscles relax a bit more. Your foam rolling routine shouldn’t be more than about 15 minutes for the entire body. You’ll notice so much of a difference in the way your body feels the next 24-48 hours after you foam roll!
Both foam rolling and stretching are great ways to cool down after a tough workout and they can both be dispersed throughout your workout routine each day. Click here to follow along with one of my favorite foam rolling/stretching videos!
2. Light Active Recovery
Any kind of light active recovery will help to significantly reduce your soreness after a tough workout. It’s important to at least have some kind of movement that will get your blood flowing. This could be going for a walk or riding a bike!
I love to do yoga on days like this just to show a little extra care to my body. Vin/Yin yoga classes are also great because you’ll hold relaxing poses for a few minutes and it will really help your muscles to relax.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and to not overdo it. That could create more problems! If you listen to your body and treat it with care, you’ll notice that it’ll start to thank you and you’ll feel better when you do your next tough workout.
3. Stay Hydrated And Eat Healthy
It’s always important to stay hydrated and to eat healthy, especially after a tough workout. Make sure you’re getting the correct amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fats in your diet, as well as drinking enough water. This will help your muscles to recover quicker and therefore not feel as sore for as long!
4. Cold Therapy
Cold therapy can really help muscle soreness. If you’re really brave you can try getting in an ice bath for a couple of minutes. Make sure you’ve done your research before and probably try doing this with supervision if it’s your first time!
If you’re not feeling the intense ice bath, then you can stand under cold running water in the shower. Try to do this for a minute at a time and eventually your body will get used to the cold water! This will really help with muscle recovery and reducing your soreness.
5. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy can also help with muscles soreness a few days after your tough workout. This could be sitting in a sauna or even using a heat pack to help soothe your muscles. Heat therapy will increase the blood flow which will help your muscles to recover quicker. You could also try taking a warm bath with Epsom Salt!