A good workout can surely make you feel the positive energy, boost your self esteem and a give you a sense of accomplishment. But haven’t we all felt that post workout muscle soreness when the body just feels stiff and sore? It especially kicks in after the first 24 hours. But don’t let that steer you away from your healthy workout routine! Below are my top tips to relieve that soreness.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Now as clichéd as it sounds, it’s actually true. Make these easy steps a part of your pre-workout ritual and your body will feel much better post workout.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
That’s my number one tip. Besides drinking the regular recommended amount daily, keep a glass of water handy during your workout session. All that water lost via sweating has to be replaced somehow and water or a sports energy drink is the best way.
Stretch Those Muscles
It’s very important to just lightly stretch all muscles before a workout. It’ll relax the muscle and prepare it for the wear and tear ahead. A lot of gym goers take this step lightly and hence have to deal with the soreness.
Warm Up And Cool Down
Before starting your workout whether Cardio or weight lifting, these steps are important. Never rush into a routine, it does more harm than good and never stops abruptly or suddenly no matter how tempted or tired you may feel, always walk it off and cool your body down.
Ways To Make Those Sore Muscles Feel Better
- Massage therapy – This is the one that I feel gives the most relief and almost instantaneously. Stretch slowly the muscle that you want to relax and then gently squeeze it. Repeat it a few times and then allow it to rest.
- Apply ice – It’s as simple as it sounds, lightly press an ice pack against the affected area. You may also wrap a cube of ice in muslin or some other fabric and use that instead. A cold shower is an alternative but be careful as it causes a lot of heat to be released from the body and the circulation may get affected.
- Rest and relaxation – sometimes all that is needed is a little break and the body will heal itself. Running a bath of warm water and then just lying in there for about 15 to 30 minutes, works wonders. Add in a little Epsom salt in the bath for better results.
- Aromatherapy oils – These oils have a variety of therapeutic uses but recently athletes have noted their excellent effect on soothing muscular aches and pains. Some of the widely used oils for this purpose are ginger, peppermint and pine essential oils. Feel free to try them all and find out which works best for you.
- Diet and nutrition – Not only is it important to make sure you’ve had a healthy meal before a workout but also afterwards. Many experts agree that within two hours after strenuous exercise a full meal should be consumed. Be sure to include a good portion of proteins in that.
- Additional supplements – a study has shown that consuming ginger regularly will decrease the likelihood of post workout muscle soreness. A different study suggests vitamin C is important for healthy muscle repair. I try to make it interesting and incorporate ginger tea or orange juice in my daily diet.
Follow the tips above and feel the difference! Here’s hoping for a more feel good post workout session to all.
Linda is a certified dietician and life coach. After 5 years of gaining experience with the NHS community, Linda now works on a freelance basis providing nutrition and dietary advice to clients across the UK. She strives to promote positive, practical messages about food and health to treat nutrition related health problems.
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