We all know that exercise is good for us, for both our physical and mental wellbeing, but it can come with a painful side-effect: muscle soreness.
Fortunately, we don't have to hobble around in agony for days after a workout, as there are things we can do to reduce soreness and we will list these below.
Of course, if pain persists after trying one or some of the following ideas, be sure to see your doctor.
#1: Stay hydrated
You should stay hydrated during a workout to prevent dehydration and to keep your energy levels up, and you should hydrate after your workout too. The fluids that pass through your system ease inflammation and deliver nutrients to your muscles to aid with recovery, so remember to top yourself up with water at regular intervals.
#2: Have something to eat after your workout
When you feed your muscles the nutrients they need to repair and become stronger, you will quicken the recovery process. You need a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat to aid your recovery, so consider this when preparing your post-workout snacks.
For protein, consider:
For carbs, consider:
Whole grain bread
For fat, consider:
Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)
Full fat yoghurt
#3: Keep moving
You shouldn't exert your body when you're feeling sore, of course. However, it's still acceptable to do some light exercises, providing you aren't in a great deal of pain after your workout.
A slow walk or some light stretching can get the blood pumping through your body and this will get the nutrients needed for your recovery through your body that bit faster.
#4: Use heat or ice to soothe your pain
The debate between which is better, heat or cold therapy, is one that is ongoing but regardless of which offers more pain relief, you should use whichever feels right for you.
So, use an ice pack on the areas of your body that are swollen and in pain, or if you prefer, take a warm bath, preferably with Epsom salts as they can reduce swelling and speed recovery.
#5: Try KT tape
There are a number of products you can buy on the market that promise to relieve muscle soreness, and one of these is kinesiology taping.
As you can see from the linked website, by wearing the tape during your training session, you can reduce your soreness by up to 50%.
#6: Give yourself a massage
You can visit a masseuse after each workout but as this could be expensive if you hire their services regularly, you might want to give yourself a massage instead. Using your hands or a recovery tool like a massage gun or foam roller on your sore spots, you will feel some semblance of pain relief after gently going to work on your body.
For more information on this, check out these self-massage techniques.
These are just some of the ways to relieve muscle soreness after a workout. Use a combination of these ideas for the best results and remember to see your doctor if pain persists after using them.