In the realm of exercise, it is totally normal to experience some muscle soreness post-workout, especially if you are new to gym-ing or aren’t as regimented as you’d like to be. That said, feeling achy after exercising can quickly become a dissuading factor from working out the next time, so here are five tips for reducing muscle tightness and soreness post-workout:
- Ensure you are eating the right things, and at the right times. After working out, you have a window of about two hours (maximum) to feed those protein-hungry muscles of yours. The sooner you can eat the better. If you skip your post-workout meal, you may not have enough energy for your next workout and you are robbing your muscles of the ability to repair and rebuild. Eat things that are carbohydrate and protein-rich. Make sure to eat well, but light, pre-workout as well.
- Warm up properly. Anyone who plays sports will know how key it is to warm up your muscles before fully exerting them. Skipping the warm up can result in soreness, best-case scenario, and serious injury, worst case.
- Apply heat. While ice is best for injuries, heat is best for tight and sore muscles. If you have access to a hot tub, steam room or sauna, utilize those, or apply a heated compress for 10-20 minutes. The idea is to increase blood flow.
- Try a Trigger Point foam roller or massage to help to move inflammatory fluids out of the muscle.
- Cool down properly. The worst thing you can do is stop moving completely after strenuous exercise. While warming up revs up your cardiovascular system and increases blood flow to your muscles, cooling down allows for a gradual recovery of heart rate and blood pressure. Stretching is a good way to cool down after your workout.
Working out is not necessarily supposed to be comfortable, but it also shouldn’t be painful! Above all, always listen to your body and be sure to drink plenty of water to flush out toxins, prevent dehydration, and ultimately ease muscle soreness.