Feeling sore the day after going to the gym always makes me feel accomplished, like I achieved something by lifting all those weights. But when it gets to the point that I can’t walk up or down the stairs because I can’t use my thighs or butt anymore it becomes a problem.
And it doesn’t have to be this way, we don’t have to suffer the pain of a post-workout if we are smart about. If you use any of these methods below then it will relieve a lot of the lactic acid build up in your body and stop/reduce the pain the following days.
The more of these methods you practice the bette your body will be allowing for a better gym session next time. So let’s begin.
1. Cold or Hot Sauna
Cold saunas are great for the body but are every expensive. So if you have some cash to spare then by all means immerse yourself in a cold sauna, all it takes is 3 minutes for a cycle and it will reduce pain and inflammation.
But for those looking for a cheaper way of tending to their recovery the normal, hot sauna is also just as great. The heat promotes blood flow to your muscles giving them the oxygen that they very much need at this point to boost recovery, as well as allowing the muscles to relax in a warm environment after a harsh training session.
Just be sure to keep your time in the sauna short as you don’t want to lose many more nutrients to sweat.
2. Foam Rollers
Foam rollers can be found on the floors of most gyms and work by moving the lactic acid in your body from the areas that it has built up. So if you have had a very heavy leg day, rolling about on the foam roller will spread the acid around your legs stopping it from being concentrated in your hamstrings or quads.
It is painful doing foam rollers but it is more painful having to live with broken legs the next day so just grin and bare the roller for a few minutes and you’ll be better off.
This is a great way of cooling off your body to make sure it properly relaxes before you leave the gym. Too many people drop their weights and head out the door, but a cool down period is just as important as a warm up.
Cooling down your body in some light exercise will do you a world of good, and swimming is a great way of doing this is you aren’t a fan of walking aimlessly on a treadmill for a while.
Swimming also works as another way of toning your body so it kind of works as a post-workout workout.
To pair with the cool down, stretches are needed if you don’t want to be in pain the next few days. Allow your muscles to properly stretch after a workout to recover properly. The lactic acid and the tension that has built up throughout your body needs to be released and dispersed, and stretching will help in this process.
It is a less intense form of foam rolling, if you stretch your quads out you will know you’ve done a much needed job if you can feel the stretch in your thigh straight the way.
It doesn’t have to be the cold sponginess of a foam roller if you don’t like them, you can also have massages done to help your body recover.
Unfortunately I’m not talking about the massages you get off you partner where it somehow ends up in sex by the end of it. These massages will not be the most comfortable because it is more fingers pressed into your muscles to move the lactic acid around and stimulate your muscles, than some nice kneading with the palms.
Prepare for some wincing, but for a healthier and better body afterwards.
6. Hot Baths
The purpose of hot baths is like the sauna but they are in a nicer and more relaxed environment with no other people sitting around you in towels.
The hot bath will relax your muscles and help stimulate blood flow, and while you’re at it helping the inside of your body recover why not help the outside of your body recover.
If you want to add some milk powder or some essential oils into the water to hep your skin heal that will also be beneficial because the calluses that will be building up on your hands, or any sweat rashes forming will be grateful for the care.
7. Stay Active
Just staying active in general is the best way of helping your body recover, if you come back from the gym and slob about on the couch for the rest of the day and evening then I won’t be shocked if you are in pain the next day.
Staying active keeps your muscles working, it keeps the blood flowing to them and it pushes the lactic acid about as well as uses some of it up. If you keep walking about for the rest of the day, you will be better off than just sitting down.
8. Replenish Lost Vitamins and Minerals
When you sweat you lose a lot of water, but most importantly the vitamins and minerals hidden in there as well. So when you get home you can take supplements to replenish those lost and aid in the recovery of your body.
Good vitamins to take after a post workout include vitamins C and D, as well as B12. Also you’ll need some calcium and iron and omega 3 to just name a few. You might just want a multivitamin to be fair, might make life easier…
9. Eat High in Protein Foods
When you get back in be sure to eat some protein rich foods because your body will needs the amino acids in these foods to build your muscles back up and recover properly. Have some chicken or tuna, an omelette even, but be sure to give your body some fuel to work with to help it recover afterwards.
Just don’t go stuffing yourself because then you’ll feel sluggish and your body will be having to work on digesting the food rather than recovering the torn muscle fibres in your legs.
It seems like common sense but it is honestly so important that you get a good nights sleep after a workout. If you want your body to recover you need to give it a proper chance to, which means rest. Get 7-9 hours sleep and you’ll be on the way to having a healthier and happier body.
You can also just use this as an excuse to get some more sleep, either way, as long as you let your body rest.