Feeling really sore a few hours after an awesome workout? Well you are not alone. Working out might be hard your muscles, but for many of us results are all that really matter! Don’t let soreness and stiffness keep you away from the gym. DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness affects millions of women who exercise but can be easily relieved if you know what to do right after your workout. Sometimes it takes a few hours to 1 day for the soreness to set in, but if you do just a few simple things, you can be pain-free all the time.
“No pain, no gain” only applies to people who haven’t read this article because we have 5 ways you can reduce soreness and get back to exercising faster!
1. Don’t skip stretching!
As you get older, your muscles tend to be less elastic, and, as a result, you risk being less flexible. It’s essential to stretch after your workout because stretching generates blood flow and keeps the muscles loose and flexible. Remember, the tighter your muscles are, the more soreness you will feel. Not stretching can also lead to worse things than soreness – painful hyper-extension of joints and tendons!
Reserve 15 minutes for a post-workout stretch and loosen up those major muscles groups such as hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, hips and back by holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
2. Eat properly after every workout.
The more your muscle protein is damaged during a hard workout, the more sore you’ll feel. In the first 30 minutes post exercise, you should consume protein to rebuild the muscle tissue that was broken down and to stimulate new muscle growth. Eat a snack that contains protein and carbohydrates – carbs produce insulin, which reduce soreness.
Spices such as turmeric or warming herbs such as cayenne, ginger, and peppermint have an anti-inflammatory effect and help muscle soreness. To help with your muscle recovery, you need foods rich in antioxidants: kiwi, oranges, apricots, cabbage, kale, sweet potatoes and almonds are only a few. Here’s a tip that works – drink sugar free tart cherry juice, it’s full of antioxidants and has wonderful anti-inflammatory effects.
3. Heat is the best for sore muscles.
Take a hot bath or step into a steam room. If you don’t have access to a steam room, make a spa at home by getting into your bath tub. Put some Epsom salt, lavender or chamomile oil (both oils are great for tense muscles) into the water and relax for 30 minutes. This decreases inflammation and muscle discomfort and improves circulation. Suggestion: Try Aromatherapaes Sleep-Well Bath Soak Lavender & Chamomile™.
4. Stay active and keep working out!
You need to mobilize your muscles to speed up recovery from soreness. Even if you feel a little sore, don’t become inactive – this will make it hard to get back into working out! Do light aerobics activity such as walking, stair climbing, or dancing for 15-20 minutes. It’s all about keeping your muscles moving. Go easy on all resistance training and don’t forget to always warm up before exercising.
5. Get a massage or massage the sore area with a cooling balm.
Massage brings blood flow to sore muscle tissues and encourages quick muscle recovery. After your hot bath, rub in a natural balm made of anti-inflammatory ingredients such as tea tree oil or cooling menthol.
Suggestion: Try Jason Cooling Minerals and Tea Tree Muscle Pain Therapy™ or for more severe back pain or neck strain Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Ointment™.