After hitting the gym or participating in some form of intense fitness activity, you may experience soreness in your muscles. This is especially true if you’re trying some type of new physical activity or fitness newbie.
When you exercise, your muscles endure a great deal of physical stress. But, sore muscles are a natural result of any type of physical activity.
That said, nobody wants to be sore after they exercise. You’re tired, you’re breathing hard and you just want to sit back and relish in the fact you once again did something good for your body and for your health. However, uncomfortable muscle burning and soreness post workout is a leading reason why some individuals stop exercising altogether.
Fortunately, while you can’t eliminate sore muscles completely, you can control them with certain post-workout recovery strategies that enable your body to quickly recover and have a better response to your workouts.
Here are some activities and foods you can try to treat your sore muscles after your workout.
Activities You Can Try
Certain activities, including the below, can try to help ease the soreness.
After an intense workout, the last thing you want to do is exercise some more, right? It’s understandable if you feel this way, but light activity will actually help relieve sore muscles almost the same way a massage does, according to a study the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published. Researchers believe since light activity increases muscle circulation, it can help your body speed up the metabolic waste and chemical drainage associated with achy muscles.
Other researchers found increasing your blood flow helps to speed up the delivery of essential nutrients to your damaged muscles, increasing the range of motion and making tissues more elastic — both speed up recovery and ease pain.
Submerging either their whole bodies or just the lower half, many amateur and professional athletes chill out in an ice-cold bath following a hard workout. Your muscles swell when you work out and ice reduces inflammation by chasing away the blood resulting in more speedy recovery. A cold bath is equivalent to applying an ice pack to an injury to reduce the swelling, except you’re benefiting more of your body when you get into a tub full of ice.
The main element of Epsom salts is magnesium, which is an essential mineral to healthy muscles — and it works as a natural and mild muscle relaxant. When you add the salts to a warm compress or bath, your skin absorbs them, which benefit you more than taking magnesium as an oral supplement.
Recovery Foods You Can Try
Along with recovery activities, you can also eat certain foods that help ease muscle soreness.
After your workout, you may immediately head for the protein shake. However, you’re not always getting the right nutrition with just protein powder, particularly for achy muscles. Try adding some blueberries in that protein shake. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent free radical muscle damage after you exercise.
Meat and Fish
During your workout, your muscles can tear requiring protein for restoration. Foods rich in protein include chicken, beef and fish. There are more fats in beef than in chicken, but the fat content depends on how the cows eat. Cows that eat grass generally produce less fat in their beef than grain-fed cows. There is also a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids in grass-fed beef which help with burning fat. Fish is another good alternative to chicken or beef. Wild fish, in particular, is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids since wild fish are leaner than fish raised on farms.
When you have a deficiency in micronutrients like potassium, it can lead to muscle cramps that target several of your muscles. You can easily lose potassium through dehydration and sweat when you’re working out. You get potassium in leafy greens and protein-rich foods, therefore, to prevent muscle cramps, eat a lot of these foods.
Excessive soreness in your muscles after a workout could indicate you increased intensity or volume way too quickly in your workout and your muscles didn’t properly recover. But, it shouldn’t be painful trying to get fit. Therefore, if you are experiencing a little soreness after a fitness routine, try these recovery techniques (and foods) to help you recover faster.