Intense workouts result in sore muscles. That is nothing to be afraid of. On the contrary, that’s just the effect you should expect after a good, challenging workout. However, the pain can be quite annoying sometimes and that’s why many people look for ways to relieve muscle soreness. But, be aware that there is no instant cure for muscle soreness and that your body needs some time to heal. Still, there are some things that you can do to make the recovery less painful. Let’s jump right in!
The importance of stretching
Simply put, you need to stretch! Stretching comes as the first line of defense after a workout. It’s normal that your muscle fibers get shorter while you train. Therefore, lengthening them after a workout improves mobility, and will speed up the recovery process. Besides, stretching before and after the workout reduces the risk of injuries. So, when you start stretching, aim at targeting as many muscles as you can. It’s not hard, and even though many find it annoying, it is quite useful.
Various studies claim that foam roller helps relieve muscle soreness if you know how to properly massage your muscles with it. However, the best-known study is the one found in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. The study has proven that by using a foam roller to massage your sore muscles after a workout, you can considerably reduce muscle soreness. You just have to make sure to give each major muscle group at least five rolls, starting with your calves and working your way up your body. It would be great if you could spend extra time on sore spots that ache more than other muscles.
Another great way to ease the pain in your muscles is to use foam rolling both after your workouts and in between workouts. Familiarize yourself with foam rolling since it’s proven to be helpful. According to the scientists at the University of Oregon, if you want to see significant improvements in mobility, you have to foam roll even on the days you don’t train. This kind of massage is becoming more and more popular in the world of fitness aficionados and there is a reason why.
Gadgets to the rescue
There is a gadget out there that relies on the principles of science and the way the human body works to rid you of that annoying muscle soreness. It comes in the form of a small but efficient electronic muscle recovery device. This gadget sends small amounts of electrical stimulation through your body which is just enough to help your muscles relax. Its small portable design allows you to take it with you anywhere and at any time. And don’t worry about these electric shocks. They are gentle and they will relax your muscles. You can even pair this gadget with active recovery for the best results.
Take advantage of heat
As odd as it may sound, increasing your body temperature actually helps with sore muscles. Since heat boosts circulation, especially focused heat like that of a jacuzzi, it has become a powerful recovery tool between workouts—the stress is on “between workouts.” So, be careful since using it immediately after a training session, such a heat can exacerbate inflammation, and the jets can pound your already damaged muscles, resulting in more muscle soreness instead of less.
Increase food intake
It doesn’t matter if you’re eating at a calorie deficit, you have to make sure to get enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. These play a huge role in repairing and maintaining muscles. Another good thing that you could do is use protein supplements. Consider taking supplements after working out since that is the time when protein synthesis increases. You have to feed your muscles properly if you want them to recover quickly.
Move, move and move
When everything hurts, you need to start moving! Yes, that would be the last thing you wanted to do when every muscle aches but that’s exactly what you need to do. Rest days do provide your muscles some time to recuperate but some light movement won’t do any harm. On the contrary, you’ll speed up the recovery process. Go for a bike ride or throw a Frisbee with your friend. This is called active recovery and it works. These kinds of exercises help relieve soreness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles.
All in all, these techniques will help you cope with the pain in your muscles. The important thing is to avoid various painkillers and drugs. It’s always better to opt for natural ways of recovery. However, if the pain becomes excruciating, we recommend you to consult your doctor.