How to relieve sore muscles after a workout
There’s no denying it, sore muscles after a workout can really take the fun out of fitness. Not to mention that when your body feels stiff, you’re unlikely to maintain fitness motivation and jump back on the treadmill again in a hurry. #thestruggleisreal
But while ‘no pain, no gain’ is an unavoidable reality when it comes to changing your body shape, there are some things you can do to make it easier on your muscles.
Turns out, there’s no need to abandon your quest to get rid of tuckshop lady arms. Follow these steps on how to relieve and soothe those sore limbs, and you’ll be back at the gym in no time…
A quick, easy recovery workout could be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. In fact, the study found light exercise can help ease muscle pain just as well as a massage. For best results, your routine should involve similar moves to the ones that caused the soreness, but at an easier intensity. Sore all over? Opt for a light workout on a cross-trainer machine, or in the pool.
Roll it out
Foam rollers can also be extremely helpful in treating tight muscles. Similar to massage (but a whole lot more affordable), they increase blood flow to sore muscles through applied pressure. The best part is, you get to control which muscles you work, and focus on areas that need the most TLC. Try Kmart 32cm Therapy Roller - Blue ($15, kmart.com.au) or for hard-to-reach sore areas, PowerTube Pro Mini Roller ($49.99, rebelsport.com.au).
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In the same way a heat pack can alleviate painful period cramps, applied heat can also help increase blood flow to sore muscles, helping them repair and recover. Try a hot bath with a muscle-soothing soak such as Molton Brown Bracing Silverbirch Thermal Muscle Soak or Weleda Arnica Muscle Soak to relieve your sore bod. Alternatively, use your trusty heat pack directly on the area that’s giving you grief.
According to research published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, taking an omega-3-rich fish oil tablet once a day can help reduce muscle soreness and ease inflammation 48 hours after a workout. Try Blackmores Odourless Fish Oil Mini Caps or Swisse Ultiboost Wild Fish Oil Concentrate for an easy fix. Alternatively, foods such as salmon, spinach, and nuts are also rich in omega-3s and can have a positive effect.
Before you hit the gym again…
Ready to get moving again? Prevent sore muscles from cramping your style this time by doing a light warm-up (such as a slow jog), followed by stretching, before you begin your official workout. This will help limber up, relax and lengthen your tight muscles, in preparation for more intense exercise. Fernwood’s 12 Week Challenge, here we come!
Do you experience sore muscles after exercise? How do you usually overcome it?