If you work out regularly, you will know that it doesn’t come without a little bit of pain. Especially when you are trying something new, or if you’re just starting out with working out, your muscles will let you know what you’ve been up to. Weight lifting in particular will cause your muscles to become sore to the point where you can barely sit down or walk up or down the stairs. Here’s what I do to make muscle pain a little bit easier to handle.
What 7 ways can you recover from post work out muscle aches?
Your body needs time to recuperate after putting it through a work out. Depending on your level, you will need more or less time in between workouts in order to recover. If you’re just starting out, it is silly to expect yourself to work out on a daily basis. Anything more than 2 – 3 times a week will not give your body enough time to recover in between, which, in the end, can do more harm than good. If you’re working out more regularly, what is key is to not work out each body part every day. Which brings me to my next point.
2.) Change up your workouts
Unless you’re a professional athlete, there is no point in only working on one discipline or muscle group. Try to work out your entire body throughout the week and change up the type of work outs as you go along. I prefer full body workouts over only working out certain body parts, which is why I simply change up the intensity and aim of my different gym classes. If I do something high cardio one day, I will do some yoga the next day. And only if I feel up to it. If my body is just too tired, I will simply stay at home to make sure I do no. 1 on this list.
3.) Drink plenty of water
Before, during and after your workout, water is your best friend. You need to make sure you drink enough to make the muscle pain as little as possible. Fluids will allow your muscles to get rid of the build up much quicker, so staying hydrated is key for a good recovery afterwards.
4.) Eat well
Yes, I also have a tendency to pig out after a good work out, but if you eat well and healthy your body will be much better at keeping itself going. Eggs, yoghurt, cottage cheese and other protein rich foods are especially good to eat before or after a workout. I personally love some falafel before dance class as it is rich in proteins, keeps you full, yet doesn’t make you barf the minute you start spinning pirouettes. Other foods that are good to have are lean meats, veggies and fruit. If you do a highly intense interval workout, you may also want to stock up on some more carbs and throw in some oats or other grains.
How often I cringe at people who simply leave a class without a good stretch. Now I’m a little to stretchy, so stretching too much isn’t good for me. However, if you don’t stretch your muscles don’t get time to ease back after all that effort. Stretching before and after a workout is key if you want to keep your muscles from tensing up too much and keep them lean and strong.
6.) Get a massage
It will not only feel like a nice reward, but it also allows your muscles to relax and build up from there. I find that massages always help me to feel more aligned and in tune with my body. I do get muscle tension in my back very easily, but especially if you’re feeling sore after a work out, massages and help you to ease your muscles into a much more comfortable place.
The best way to get rid of muscle pain? Working out. Granted you need to be careful with this, but I find that the best way to truly get past the muscle pain, is to do another work out. Because your muscles warm up again, you will actually help the recovery process. The first 5 – 10 minutes you will feel like a trainwreck, but once you get going, you will find your muscles pain just evaporates. If you rest up afterwards, you will find that 12 – 24 hours later, there will be no more muscle pain.
Naturally I am no doctor, so I wrote these tips from my own experience. In my case, muscle pain comes up 24 hours after the workout. If I workout at 9 PM today, I will get the muscle pain tomorrow around that same time. It will peak for a few hours and then slowly disappear. You should know that I have been doing some sort of sports activities (mostly dance) since I was 6 years old and that I have been a regular at my local gym for the past 6 – 7 years. Don’t expect to step on a treadmill today and tomorrow it will be fine. I work out regularly and if I haven’t done a certain workout for a while (sometimes as little as a week or 2) I have muscle pains as badly as when I first started. The key to working out is to keep trucking. It will feel like baby steps, but in the end it will make your body leaner, meaner and stronger.
How do you deal with muscle pain?