8 Ways to Relieve Post-Workout Pain and Muscle Soreness
If you’ve tried a new workout regimen recently, added an extra weight into your existing routine, or done an intense workout after a while, you’ve probably experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
DOMS is common after exercise and it’s followed by achiness and stiffness that you feel in your muscles within hours after you work out. It usually means you did good training and your muscles are getting stronger.
The repetitive muscle contractions during activities such as push-ups, squats, and lifting weights create microscopic tears in your muscle fibers that trigger inflammation. Feeling sore is just a natural outcome of the “physical stress” your muscles go through. Typical soreness would develop between 24 -36 hours after your workout and recede maximum 3 days.
Luckily, there are a few ways to relieve post-workout pain. Try these simple treatments that will help you feel better — faster, and bounce back with ease!
1. Heat and Ice
Apply a wrapped cold/hot pack on your sore muscles to temporarily relieve the pain. Let it sit on the affected area for 2 mins, and then rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
Heat can help loosen bunched up muscles, while ice is anti-inflammatory and can reduce any redness or damaged tissues.
Use a foam roller to relieve muscle tension and boost blood flow after your workout routine. Foam rolling can both ease muscle soreness and boost mobility, so it’s strongly recommended even on the days you don’t train.
Otherwise, any gentle massage that uses light pressure will also do the trick.
3. Essential Oils
One of the best ways to ease DOMS and inflammation is using essential oils including birch, black pepper, cypress, ginger, peppermint, spruce, and wintergreen.
4. Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Stretching the muscles that you will be training before your workout can prevent muscle soreness. The ideal pre-conditioning will warm up your muscles and will increase your body’s ability to adapt to its inflammatory response. Don’t forget to stretch a few minutes after your workout too.
Related: How to Stretch for Any Type of Workout
5. Coffee, Please
Drinking a cup of coffee per day can enhance strength and endurance during your workout. Caffeine is also an effective remedy for reducing muscle soreness by inhibiting the central nervous receptors related to pain.
6. Hydrate Well
Drink plenty of water before and after exercising to minimize muscle soreness and post-workout pain. As kidneys and liver are responsible for filtering out toxins in our bodies, increased levels of hydration can help move along this process by flushing out waste products.
7. Eat Enough Proteins
Make sure you are getting enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Especially proteins and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which will help you build strength and endurance. Avoid inflammatory foods and drinks such as coffee, candy, and white bread.
8. Work Out with Correct Form
Be aware of your posture while at the gym or in yoga class. That way, you will prevent unnecessary DOMS. And remember, it’s better to lift 50 pounds correctly than 100 pounds incorrectly.
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