We’re Adding Healing Sore Muscles To Our Self-Care Routines
One aspect of a fit lifestyle that we all endure, but bond through, is having to ask THAT question the morning after a tough workout: is anyone else sore today?! Muscle soreness is something we all experience, but it’s also something we don’t always know how to deal with. Most times we power through days of tight muscles + continue to workout without giving our muscles proper care//rest time.
We all have our own methods to try to recuperate after intense workout sessions. Taking proper care of our muscles post-workout is just as important as the workout itself. By having a post-workout routine to deal with sore muscles + refueling our bodies, our workout quality will improve as our muscle health does!
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SIMPLE TIPS TO HELP OUR MUSCLES POST-WORKOUT
#1] Don’t Forget to Stretch
Stretching before + [especially] after a workout is incredibly influential to how our muscles perform! It helps prepare our muscles for a workout as well as helps them start to repair after a workout. It’s easy to see for ourselves after a workout. Our muscles tend to become tighter + give us muscle soreness when we forget to stretch them.
If we continue to workout with tight muscles that we neglect to stretch out before + after our workouts, we are putting ourselves at a higher risk to injure ourselves as it becomes easier to pull those muscles — which nobody wants to deal with! Simply stretching 5 to 10 minutes before + after our workouts makes a huge difference in our workouts ++ makes post-workout life less painful!
#2] Foam Rollers
This post-workout technique may be more common for athletes, but it is easy for any of us to add into our active lifestyles! Foam rolling helps relieve muscle soreness + release knots in our muscles ++ can improve our flexibility! There are many different types of rollers + multiple ways to roll out almost every muscle in our body — there are countless resources available that can help explain how to properly roll out specific muscles in more depth. Many rollers are easy to acquire at stores like Target, Dicks Sporting Goods, or online as well!
In my personal experience, foam rolling my muscles after a workout has been the most effective way to relieve muscle soreness. While this technique is uncomfortable to sit through, it is worth the results! It is also worth noting that this technique can be applied by ourselves, but it’s also encouraged to have someone else roll out the muscles for us as they will be able to apply more pressure + roll out muscles at angles that are harder for us to do ourselves.
#3] Icing + Heating
Now, this tip is one I love to add to my self-care days! It’s simple + relaxing ++ is a great accompaniment to binging our favorite shows. There are many benefits to icing + heating routines for our muscles [of course, we are going to focus on the fact that it helps reduce muscle soreness]. Icing our muscles help numb possible sharp pains + reduce inflammation while heating helps soothe stiff joints ++ relax our muscles by increasing the blood flow to those areas.
Routines can fluctuate, but most often icing + heating routines tend to follow time stamps of 10 minutes icing then 10 minutes heating…or 15//20 minutes each + repeating the cycle 2 to 4 times. It is not recommended to ice//heat longer than 20 minutes at a time + it is important to have a layer of something [towel, blanket, etc.] between the ice//heat pack + our skin!
#4] Anti-Inflammatories [natural — like in food + medicine]
Another way most people may already deal with sore muscles is with anti-inflammatories. This could be through over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Aleve, + more. But there are also natural anti-inflammatories that can be healthier + more effective.
Some anti-inflammatory alternatives include:
— Vitamin D Rich Foods [like eggs + fish] // Supplements
#5] Stay Hydrated!
Every day we should be trying to drink plenty of water, but when we’re dealing with sore muscles, staying properly hydrated can make a big difference. While avoiding dehydration, it also helps prevent even more intense muscle soreness. Drinking enough water helps speed up muscle recovery + gets rid of toxins in our bodies to keep our muscles functioning.
When we don’t drink enough water, especially while working out, we are more likely to experience muscle cramps + spasms which are extremely painful. So if all it takes is drinking water to avoid these problems, we should always remember to bring water bottles to the gym with us + drink lots of water post-workout as well!
#6] Proper Rest
All the tips above are great to be proactive about muscle soreness, but none of that matters if we don’t give our muscles time to properly rest. When we workout we are breaking down our muscles, so they need time to repair + grow. The recommended time to rest muscles is 24 to 48 hours between workouts. But most people do not give their muscles this much time to recover. Not allowing our muscles to recover can lead to more muscle soreness + can impede on the quality of future workouts.
If our muscles are not properly rested + recovered, future workouts will just be doing more damage than adding to our progress. This is why many people may experience stagnation in their fitness progress + muscle growth. It’s okay + even recommended to have rest days. Sometimes rest days may need to be moved around in our workout routines or more should be added. We may think negatively toward taking days off from working out, but ultimately our muscles will thank us + we’ll come out stronger in the end!
Resting our muscles doesn’t just mean taking days off from working out, but also means getting enough sleep as well! Proper sleep increases muscle recovery + growth. So prioritizing other aspects of our lifestyles [like sleep or hydration] directly impact our fitness abilities.
Every part of our lives is connected + we need to pay attention to how we treat each aspect because when we prioritize all aspects of our overall health we reap the benefits! We are all in control of how well we treat our bodies + our minds — it’s important that we don’t neglect the small things that can make a big difference.
Leave some ways you heal muscle soreness in the comments below! : )