Working out, though rewarding, comes with a price—muscle soreness. No matter how much experience you have or how fit you are, as long as you’re putting in the work, your muscles will always feel sore.
The soreness shouldn’t scare you away from working out; instead, it should motivate you to care for your body and muscles properly. These are five effective ways to relieve sore muscles after working out.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest is one of the most effective ways to relieve soreness in your muscles after a workout. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep isn’t enough. Aim to have at least two recovery days each week and avoid consecutive intensive workouts. During your rest days, engage in light activities, such as swimming, walking, yoga, or meditation. These activities improve your recovery time by promoting blood flow to your muscles and allowing your muscles to recover.
Drinking enough water can significantly affect your recovery time after workouts. Dehydration leads to muscle soreness and prevents your body from repairing itself quickly. Aim to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water daily. You should also incorporate electrolytes into your water intake, especially during high-intensity workouts. Electrolytes help to replace the minerals lost through sweat and improve muscle recovery.
Foam rolling has gained traction in the fitness industry and for a good reason. It’s an effective way to recover from workout soreness. Foam rolling targets trigger points, reduces soreness, and improves flexibility. Roll out muscles that feel tight or sore, focusing on one area at a time, and pause for about 30 seconds on any particularly tight areas. You should aim to foam roll within 24 hours of an intense workout session. This step will help you recover faster and keep your muscles from feeling too stiff or sore.
Use a Massage Chair
Like foam rolling, massage chairs also target trigger points and promote blood flow to reduce muscle soreness. If you can access a massage chair, use it after a workout or even during your rest days for maximum benefits. Getting the most out of your massage chair can speed up your recovery time and reduce the chances of muscle soreness after workouts.
Use Ice or Heat Therapy
Applying heat or cold therapies to sore muscles can relieve tension and soothe pain. Apply ice to the affected area if you experience acute pain or muscle swelling. If the soreness feels deep, use heat therapy, such as a warm bath or heating pad, to loosen and stretch the muscles. Remember to wrap the ice or heating pad in a towel to avoid direct contact with your skin when using ice or heat.
Sore muscles are a part of every fitness routine, but it doesn’t have to be a terrible experience. Incorporating these tips into your post-workout routine can significantly reduce soreness and improve your recovery time. Remember to listen to your body and take the necessary precautions to prevent injuries. Your body will thank you during your next big workout!