Anyone who works out (which should be all of us) will benefit from knowing ways to ease muscle fatigue. You know you’ve got muscle fatigue when your muscles feel “heavy” and even mundane and usual movements feel difficult – usually because you’ve worked out too hard or for too long. You need to rest for at least 48 hours before working out again and use some of these ways to ease muscle fatigue to aid the recovery process.
1. Drink More Water
Lots of traditional medicine centers around drinking more water to help rebalance the body, and you might be doubtful that it will work, but this is one of the easiest ways to ease muscle fatigue. Water cleanses your body, flushing out the stuff that it wants to get rid of.
2. Have a Cold Shower
To help avoid or ease muscle fatigue after a workout, take a cold shower. It might not sound particularly inviting, especially in the winter months, but the cold water will help to restrict your blood vessels, which in turn prevents the formation of lactic acid. It is the lactic acid which will cause you pain, so any steps you can take to minimize its formation will help to relieve sore muscles. This is the reason top athletes take ice baths.
3. Do Some More Exercise
If your muscles are very sore, a perhaps counterintuitive cure can be to do some more gentle – very gentle - exercise. Go for a quick jog, do some stretching, or a circuit of the weight machines and your muscles should feel a lot better. Be sure not to over-do the workout; you just want to exercise enough to get the muscles working, which will again prevent the lactic acid from forming.
4. Apply Ice
A great home treatment for muscle fatigue is to apply some ice to the muscle, after having lightly stretched it. The ice will cool the muscle, helping to speed up the repairing process.
5. Sleep Lots, and Sleep Well
You might want to be constantly in the gym working for the perfect body, but you should never skip a good night’s rest. This is perhaps the most effective natural step you can take to help repair sore muscles, so your body can relax and focus on repairing itself.
6. Have a Banana
The magnesium found in bananas helps the body to process proteins, which will help your muscles to relax. Even if you don’t like the taste of bananas, they give an excellent thick texture to smoothies, which can help to boost your blood sugar levels after a workout.
7. Use an Analgesic Balm
Although you might already be taking short-term pain relief, what you really need for sore muscles is an analgesic balm which you can rub into the affected area. Give the area a rub with the balm for the best long-term solution to muscle fatigue.
8. Head to the Pool
Going for a swim can help fatigued muscles in two ways. First of all, the coldish water will help to relax the muscle, as with a cold shower. Secondly, and most importantly, the water provides resistance which helps to produce a controlled stretch of the muscle. If you struggle to stretch a fatigued muscle normally, try swimming to see if it helps.
9. Eat an Amino-acid Rich Diet
Amino acids are excellent for strengthening muscles, and therefore can be used to both treat and prevent muscle strain. You should be eating foods such as beans, lentils, muesli and white meats, especially chicken, for the best results.
There are times when “pushing through the pain” is not a good idea. You have to allow your body the time it needs to recover from over-exertion and physical stress. Not working out for a couple of days won’t kill you but exercising stressed and painful muscles can do some serious damage to your present and future fitness.
I hope you warm up and warm down for your workout and please let us know your recommended ways for dealing with muscle fatigue.