Musclesoreness after working out is a completely normal phenomenon that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build. Although it can not be completely avoided, there are natural ways to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort during the time period of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS):
- Get Adequate Nutrition after your Workout: Drinking a protein shake right after a workout is good but eating a balanced meal within 2 hours of your workout is ideal. There is so much research that points to the importance of getting nutrients after a workout! We always advocate getting your vitamins and minerals through whole food sources rather than supplements.
- Active Recovery: Thought resting was best? Nope. Moving around is actually better for you to reduce soreness. This is any form of light activity, such as jogging, body resistance exercises, or light weights. Getting moving actually lessens muscle soreness because its breaks up the lactic acid buildup in the muscle fibers.
- Take a Cold/Hot Shower: Athletes often use this technique- alternate showering with cold water and hot water (not too hot) in 30 second intervals. These contrast showers increase bloodflow and help get nutrients from your bloodstream to you muscles.
- Take a Relaxing Epsom Salt Bath: Relaxing in a warm bath for 30 minutes will certainly ease some muscle soreness and reduce stress. Epsom Salts should be added in because they are powerful at flushing toxins out of your muscles, decreasing muscle inflammation, and improving nerve function.
- Stretch: Stretching will help reduce muscle soreness by increasing blood flow in stretched areas. Hold stretches for 15-20 seconds, repeat 3 times.
- Ice your Muscles: In severe cases of soreness, icing the muscle is beneficial because it reduces swelling and pain. It does not accelerate the healing process though.
- Get a Massage: Massages aid in muscle relaxation, pain reduction, and stress relief. Just make sure you go somewhere that is familiar with sports massages.
- Sleep! Getting adequate sleep is paramount to allowing your body to heal. Get 7-8 hours a night.
* Always listen to your body. If you experience sharp or extremely severe pain after a workout, please seek professional help.