Muscle soreness is often a part of the post-workout recovery process. It is a normal part of exercising. However, for a lot of people, it’s something that can get in the way of enjoying life.
Stiffness and discomfort are not pleasant. Fortunately, there are many ways to relieve sore muscles after working out that don’t involve taking an over-the-counter pharmaceutical or remaining immobile.
If your muscles are sore and stiff but you aren’t in significant pain, some light exercise can help. Trying some limited and lightweight exercises will help loosen out some of the stiffness.
You do have to be very careful and do not push. When your muscles are sore, it’s a sign that your body needs rest. Do not forget this or avoid it.
Always give your body the rest it needs. Wait at least 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.
Here are eleven ways to help you relieve sore muscles after working out:
Simple stretching, such as a few yoga stretches, gets the blood flowing through your body. Any targeted stretching will help ease away stiffness.
As new blood rushes into the muscle, more healing takes place and this will decrease the amount of time you are not only sore but waiting to fully recover.
Massage, chiropractic work, and acupuncture are all therapies that can aid relieve sore muscles after a workout.
While there are subcategories of massage and acupuncture, the right practitioner can target soreness and help lighten the load a bit. For many people, insurance plans cover so many sessions annually.
Massage therapy at a physiotherapy clinic can become a regular part of your workout recovery.
Several forms of TCM, or traditional Chinese medicine, have been adapted and Westernized to become proven approaches to pain relief and reducing sore muscles.
Acupuncture’s the most popular, by far. Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the release of pressure in the muscle and can be combined with electric stimulation to heighten the effect.
Many people who exercise love scheduling acupuncture and making it a part of their weekly health routine.
4. Massage Guns
If you don’t want to go to a practitioner to get a massage done, you may do it at home using a massage ball or a tool like a foam roller. Another option is a massage gun. Fair warning.
These are intense. A massage gun can be downright painful for some people. It’s like a series of repeated strikes into the muscle to help get the blood moving and loosen up the area.
For professional athletes, massage guns are a favourite but are designed to be used very carefully.
5. Foam Rolling
Many athletes will use a foam roller to relieve muscle tension and soreness after a workout, making it a habit even when they aren’t necessarily sore.
Foam rolling uses a self-myofascial release technique to relieve tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase joint range of motion.
It is a highly effective tool that can be used both before and after exercise to combat sore muscles.
6. Ice to Reduce Inflammation
A lot of people starting out exercising may not understand how heat and cold function in muscle recovery. To be fair, even some professional athletes don’t. Ice reduces inflammation and brings down swelling.
If you are in pain, ice can be applied. It will numb the region. Ice packs, ice slush baths, and ice massages can all reduce pain, bruising, and calm muscle spasms.
7. Heat to Increase Blood Flow
Heat, such as a heat pad or a warm bath, can increase blood flow to the muscle, which will significantly help with stiffness.
Heat is often used in the morning as you’re waking up to help essentially warm up your muscles for the day ahead. You may want to keep a heating pad at the ready.
8. Over-the-Counter Creams and Gels
There are a lot of over-the-counter creams and gels that can either be rubbed on or used in combination with a massage to ease muscle soreness.
Ingredients like menthol and capsaicin are both known to be effective. The effects of a cream, gel, or rub will be temporary but are helpful in limiting discomfort.
9. Drink Water and Eat Right
It’s fairly basic advice but drinking lots of water will keep you loose and hydrated, and eating healthy nutrient-dense foods will ensure your body has what it needs to repair itself.
This won’t necessarily cure muscle soreness at the moment, but it will speed up the internal repair work that’s ongoing.
10. Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas have been extensively studied and shown to decrease muscle soreness and increase muscle recovery specifically as it relates to strength training.
In a sauna, blood vessels relax and dilate, blood flow increases throughout the body, the tension on joints is reduced, and soreness and stiffness are helped.
Not only will you get the benefits of heat therapy but the advantage of being in an optimized healing state as well.
11. Pain-relieving strips
After exercising, it is worth considering pain-relieving CBD strips as an excellent alternative for managing pain and soreness. These unique strips merge the pain-relieving qualities of CBD with the convenience and simplicity of dissolvable strips. This combination effectively reduces the discomfort commonly associated with conditions like muscle strains, joint inflammation, and post-workout soreness.
I am Kate, a dedicated health advocate. My purpose is to educate you regarding the most current wellness trends, offer science-backed insights to enhance your understanding, and present actionable tips to support you on your journey towards a healthier and happier life. Let us commence this wellness path together!