It has become extremely hard to ignore all the wonderful physical and mental benefits that regular exercise offers. However, if you’ve been sedentary for a while or you’ve pushed yourself really hard lately, muscle soreness seems like an inevitable consequence. While some might see muscle soreness as a sign that the workout was effective, others will want nothing more than to make the unpleasant sensations stop.
Although a little muscle soreness might be relatively easy to overcome, delayed-onset muscle soreness can be a little harder to deal with. But before getting more in-depth when it comes to the techniques you can use to treat muscle soreness, let’s have a look at some of the ways in which you can prevent it, or at least diminish its negative effects.
Being properly rested, eating healthy and increasing your protein intake (a 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fats ratio is a smart choice) and making sure you are well hydrated are a few simple guidelines you should take into account before a challenging workout if you anticipate muscle soreness.
During the training session a few common sense rules should be followed. First, making time for a proper warm up and cool down routine is absolutely essential in order to reduce the chances of getting sore muscles. Then, aside from regulating the intensity of your workout and adapting it to your needs, it is also recommendable to shake off the tension between sets. These ideas might seem trivial, however, they have a very important role in helping your body adjust a little better.
As far as treating muscle soreness is concerned, there are many different ideas you can try. The active recovery is a popular method that many people use since it aids the blood flow throughout the body, speeding up recovery. If you want to stay active, make sure to opt for low intensity aerobic exercises. Make sure not to go too much out of your comfort zone or else you will do more harm than good. Alternatively, resting and waiting to recover can be a good choice as well. An Epsom salt bath will also help diminish inflammation throughout the body while at the same time promoting relaxation.
Another home remedy that is said to be effective is applying a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar on the affected areas and leave it for about 20 minutes. Repeat every four hours to relieve the pain more effectively. A hot and cold shower can also aid recovery if you alternate between hot and cold water every 30 seconds or so. Putting ice on the affected areas can bring even more relief.
Massage is also a wonderful addition that can aid recovery while also promoting relaxation. Both sports massage and relaxation massage can be helpful. In addition, stretching exercises or yoga can help reduce stiffness, pain and even swelling. Making sure that you are well hydrated is another simple, yet essential tip that will help you recover faster.
Paying attention to nutrition and diet is also vital. Complex carbs and protein rich foods should be included in your post-workout meals. Lean meats such as poultry or fish, fresh vegetables such as leafy greens or sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole grain bread are a few good examples. Healthy fats from foods containing essential fatty acids should also be included in your menu. Last but not least, taking a pain killer can also prove helpful if you are feeling particularly sore.
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