Worked Out So Hard That You Can’t Walk? 7 Ways To Cope With That Post-Workout Muscle Soreness
A workout is a high by itself. The endorphins and the serotonin rushing through the body, making you feel healthy and happy. But just like any other high, the downside in this case too feels like death came early. Muscle cramps coupled with soreness, basically, it isn’t a pretty picture. Anyone who work out can tell you the struggle is very real and horrifying. Going up the stairs, or going down them is a pain that is so intense, you curse the day you joined the gym. Even the act of walking can be a pain.
It actually made me quit the gym after like two weeks of attendance. Yeah, I caved! But did you know you don’t have to suffer in silence? There are things I wish I knew back then that you can do to not only cope with the soreness but also help your muscles recover faster. Read on!
The hot and cold treatment
Yep, this works like magic. All you need to do is wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and place it around the muscles that are throbbing for 15 minutes. If you notice a little swelling, then it is an acute injury if not then your muscles are just sore from the workout. After the 15 minutes, replace the ice pack with a heat pack for 15 minutes. The ice pack calms the muscles down and the heat pack helps to boost blood circulation.
Get a massage
If you are doing an intense workout, your muscles are bound to get sore. You need a good massage after the workout is over. You need not go to a massage therapist all the time, just getting your trainer or anyone to apply a good amount of pressure on the muscles you have worked on will do the trick. This is a tried and tested method of getting rid of the soreness and making it a little more bearable. You will feel rejuvenated and relaxed and little less like Yamaraj is coming right for you.
If there is anything that gets left out after your daily workout regime it is definitely the stretching. It is often overlooked but what most people don’t understand is that stretching the muscles post exercising is highly essential. It enhances the flexibility of the muscles and reduces the tension that is created. Just doing simple stretches such as the calves and hamstring stretch, or the Ab stretch can tone down muscle soreness by a great deal. Try it out!
Take a hot water bath
It isn’t uncommon knowledge that a hot water bath can soothe muscles. In fact, it the first thing any trainer will ask you to do. The hot water loosens up tight muscles and boosts blood circulation thus providing temporary relief to the soreness. To have better results try adding a little sea salt or Epsom salt into your bathwater. This isn’t just a grandma’s trick, it works. It will ease muscle cramps and soothe aching overworked muscles.
Eat right and hydrate
Eating right and drinking enough water is obviously vital in any situation. Of course, this isn’t a quick fix, it only helps in the longer run. But look at the bigger picture, if you begin eating right and hydrating yourself with at least 4 liters of water a day, you might be able to do away with muscle soreness altogether. So what do I mean when I say eat right? I mean eating food that is rich in protein and anti-oxidants. Research suggests that eating pineapple, kale, cherries, broccoli, blueberries, etc etc can relieve you of muscle soreness post-workout. Of course, eating protein is very important since that is the component that builds and strengths muscles. Also, while we are on the subject I would recommend cutting down on the booze. Even a few drinks, reduces the body’s capability to recuperate after workouts. Ugh.
Buildup your intensity gradually
If you work out longer and harder, boosting the intensity of your workout with every set, then muscle soreness is inevitable. Rather than working out erractically, get smart about it by making things challenging little by little. You have to allow your body to get used to the exercises before you can jump straight into intense workout mode. For eg. If you are lifting weights, begin with lighter weights and then gradually move on to the heavier ones keeping the number of reps the same. This will give your muscles time to adjust to the exercise thus reducing the post-workout soreness.
Allot rest days
Unless you consider yourself to be Wonder woman, you need rest days. Sore muscles are already slightly damaged, no good is going to come if you keep working through the pain. You need to rest your body for at least one day per week. Muscles generally take 48-72 to heal, so ensure you alternate muscle groups during your workout. Rest days are as important as the workout, remember that.