We’ve all felt that agonizing pain the day after a trip to the gym – the sore and aching feeling of tired and angry muscles. Because it’s so easy to overexert ourselves while working out, our muscles end up paying the price for it in the end. If you’re tired of putting in the effort to exercise, only to lose your ability to move or be productive the next day, check out the following tips to learn how to take better care of your muscles after each workout.
How can muscles become sore when the activities performed are supposed to help them? The soreness that happens usually occurs the day or two after an intense workout. While the first day of soreness can be painful, often the second day can feel like the worst and most of the symptoms of cramping and soreness can last for several days. The reason muscles become sore in the first place is due to the buildup of fluid and metabolites (substances that are used by or produced by enzyme reactions or processes dealing with metabolism). These fluids enter the muscles and work to heal any damage, but if there is too much fluid, the purpose of the fluids can backfire, allowing the extra fluid to cause cramping and soreness.
If you’re suffering from sore muscles after your workout, try aerobic activities like brisk walking, jogging, walking up and down stairs, and bicycling. Stretching can also help to relieve and speed up the healing process of sore muscles. Muscles always need time to recover and grow so don’t force any aerobic or stretching if you are in a lot of pain. At best, take a warm shower and apply a muscle relaxing cream and take a nap or go to bed early to make sure your body has enough time to fully recover.
In order to avoid having to deal with sore muscles in the first place, follow these tips:
– Moderate your exercise. By doing more exercise during the weekend and not during the week, you are putting more strain on your body and muscles, which will make it easier to strain them. Instead, break your workout into 20-30 minute intervals two to three times a week.
– Warm up slowly and stretch before doing your exercise routine. Warming up allows your heart rate to increase as well as your breathing rate, which in turn increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles so they are better prepped. Warm ups also loosen up your joints so you won’t be so stiff.
– Split your workouts so that you aren’t overexerting your entire body each time. Each day focus on a different part of your body instead of working yourself from head to toe to minimize feeling sore all over. Also drink plenty of water and eat a high carb, low fat diet to help your muscles get the right fuel needed for your workout.
– Soothe your entire body by taking a dip in the hot tub or swimming for 15 minutes to relax and reduce muscle tension.