Tips to Help with Sore Muscles



Sore Muscles? Here’s Some Relief After Your Workout

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Sore Muscles scare many people away from exercise. If they do finally mount the courage to brave the gym, they lift very light weights and try not to exert themselves too much. But when using your body for something new, like spandex in a yoga class, soreness is almost unavoidable.

When the muscle is challenged the tissues break down for rebuilding to make the muscle stronger and meet the demand of the exercise you tried. This realization causes other people to actually look forward to feeling sore as a sign they’re changing their body. These are also the “No Pain, No Gain” types who might over do it and end up crawling out of bed tense with spasm in the morning.

I’m a moderate. Since I’m constantly working out, I’ve come to embrace light soreness although it’s no fun to feel stiff and achy. The Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) usually hits me the worst about 24-hours after I’ve exerted myself in some new way.  Or it’s usually the week after I’ve returned from a vacation and had to reacquaint my body with our physical routine.

It’s very important to realize the difference between soreness and pain, particularly in the joints, which could be a different issue you should discuss with your doctor.

sore muscles

Tips for Sore Muscles!


Here’s what I have found to give sore muscles relief after working out.

Stretching:

Studies have found that stretching before working out does not alleviate DOMS but taking a nice long stretch at the end of the workout can go a long way. First of all, it feels good. Take time to hold the stretch, relaxing into it with deep breaths between 30 to 60 seconds. This can help work out some of the toxins in the sore muscles. But more importantly, if a muscle is allowed to get cold and tighten up it can affect a whole region of the body, like the lower back or hips. This can lead to bigger pains than a little muscle soreness.

Hot tub or bath.

My friends and I discovered when we took a week long ski trip, where we pushed ourselves hard all day on new and challenging terrain, it was easier to get up and do it again the next day if we soaked in the hot tub.  I’ve carried this experience over to my exercising life. When I work out particularly hard I take a hot bath with Epsom Salt. Epsom Salt is considered an old home remedy for sore muscle relief and arthritis. It’s theorized that the magnesium and sulfate break down in the water and soak through the skin for relief. Science has not backed up this claim but much anecdotal evidence including my own have found it relieving. At the very least the warm water relaxes the muscles and allows increased circulation for healing. You should discuss with your doctor about using Epsom Salt and the temperature of your water.

Keep Moving:

The worst thing you can do to get over your muscle soreness is lay down and do nothing. Instead, get moving again the next day with light exercise. If your soreness is from weights avoid lifting with those same muscles for a day or two. Work a different body part or take a walk or light jog to get the blood circulating and stretching out the muscles. I’ve found the muscle soreness to completely disappear when my heart rate is elevated and my temperature is raised while doing some type of easy cardio.

Massage:

Scientific research does support massage to offer muscle soreness relief. In studies where half of weight lifting subjects were given massages afterwards, that half had less soreness and swelling. The pressure from a massage can work out toxins in the muscle but also realign the fascia surrounding it to decrease tension and pain. See my previous blog ‘Massage Away Your Fitness Pains

Anti-Inflammatory medication:

As a last resort for overwhelming muscle soreness I’ll take ibuprofen. Research has also supported this as a viable treatment for muscle soreness. A 1993 study even found subjects who took the medication before lifting weights had 40-50 percent less soreness than people took the over-the-counter pain reliever the next day. Although highly effective this is not my first choice to reduce muscle soreness because of the side effects from using too many anti-inflammatories. Your doctor could give you the best advice if these drugs are for you.

Remember, “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche. If you want to start exercising or try something new, there might be some discomfort involved but chalk it up to personal growth. Don’t let a little manageable soreness stop you from improving your life. Talk to your doctor when beginning a new exercise routine.

Resources:

Massage Away Your Fitness Pains: http://easydrugcard.com/exercise/massage-can-it-help-you/

Sore Muscles & Join Pain: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/art-sore-muscles-joint-pain#1

 

 

Davida Wright Galvin

About Davida Wright Galvin

Davida is a fitness professional and former award winning health and science television reporter. As a mother and wife she juggles the daily challenges of raising three children, working and staying active. She likes to make fitness fun and helping people find joy in exercise so we can cure the obesity epidemic in our country. --------------------- UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, BACHELOR OF ARTS, Journalism; Certifications (Present and Past): AFAA Group Training, BodyPump, Zumba, Balletone, SCW Personal Training Certification, Turbo Kickboxing, YMCA Personal Training Certification, Vegas Stiletto Fitness, Reebok Core Board Training Certification, CPR/AED & Infant CPR; YMCA Fitness Instructor Certification -------------------- If you’re in the Denver area find her class or fitness events at www.withDavida.com. Have fun, feel fit #withDavida!
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