Working out and muscle soreness seem to go hand in hand.
Thankfully, there are all sorts of ways to relieve sore muscles and speed up the recovery process.
But first, let’s look at the reason behind muscle soreness.
What Causes Sore Muscles?
When you use muscles that haven’t been used in a while or push yourself harder than normal, small, microscopic fibers tear in the muscle. And while this might seem like a bad thing, it’s actually not.
The muscle has to repair these micro tears which allows them to come back bigger and stronger.
Thus, the next time you feel muscle soreness, you can be happy knowing your muscles are growing. And then, you can implement the below steps to speed up the recovery process.
How To Relieve Sore Muscles & Speed Up Recovery
Massage Sore Muscles
One of the most pleasant ways to keep up with your active routine is to make massage part of your daily life.
In addition to relieving tension, massage can help reduce pain, decrease swelling and improve blood circulation to promote the healing of soft-tissue damage, bruising and muscle fatigue.
I personally use the Hypervolt Handheld Percussion massage gun as it offers customized relief through a combination of interchangeable heads and variable intensity control. It’s a natural treatment option and an easy way for me to speed up muscle recovery.
Don’t Skip Your Warm Up or Cool Down
In order to reduce strain on your muscles, implementing a warm up and cool down with every workout is important.
Warming up slowly raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to your muscles which helps to reduce muscle soreness and even injury.
A quick cool down after your workout is also a good idea, specifically when it includes stretching. Stretching your muscles after a workout is a great way to increase flexibility, range of motion and reduce overall soreness.
Take an Epsom Salt Bath
A warm Epsom salt bath is another great way to relax your muscles and body.
Not only does the warm water help to soothe tight muscles, but Epsom salt also does wonders to ease muscle stress and eliminate toxins from the body.
In fact, soaking in a bath with Epsom salt at least twice a week has been shown to increase blood flow loosening the muscles and aid in the healing of muscle tissue.
Good nutrition after exercise is just as important as it is before exercise.
Protein and carbohydrates within a couple hours of exercise are recommended, such as a peanut butter sandwich, cheese and crackers with smoked salmon, or a meal that includes meat and vegetables.
When I’m on the go, I drink a protein shake with fruit or a baggie of homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit.
Is there anything that water can’t do?! Once again, the miraculous H2O plays a pivotal role in the body’s functioning.
Protein synthesis (the process in which the body repairs and generates new proteins) can only happen if the body is hydrated.
Dehydration, on the other hand, causes muscle recovery to slow down so if you want to make the most of your workouts, drinking enough water is key!
Some muscle and joint soreness after a workout is normal, but for stronger post-workout pain and discomfort, use the acronym RICE:
Rest: rest the injury or point of tension.
Ice: apply ice or a cold pack to decrease pain, reduce swelling and inflammation by quickly reducing blood flow in the affected area, and reduces muscle spasm.
Compression: wrap the injured or sore muscle snugly but not too tightly as to reduce swelling.
Elevation: raise the affected area above or at the level of your heart.
You know sleep is important for all sorts of reasons and muscle recovery is no different.
Sleep is broken down into REM and non-REM cycles. During our non-REM sleep, the body delivers more blood and oxygen to the muscles, which facilitates their healing, and growth.
If you want to relieve sore muscles and speed up the recovery process while staying active and healthy, keep these tips in mind and take care of your body!