A workout is a great thing because it burns calories and works the muscles all over your body at the same time. However, sometimes a workout can leave you feeling sore. This happens when you are new to exercise and sometimes when you switch up your workout and try something different. That soreness is a good thing because it means your body is working to get stronger and adapt to your exercise. You probably don’t like it though, so here’s how to alleviate that soreness.
1. Try an Ice Bath to Soothe the Soreness
Many athletes swear by taking an ice bath after an intense workout. Experts say that soaking in an ice bath for about 10 minutes when you get done exercising can dramatically relieve soreness in the days to come. An ice bath probably isn’t going to be the most comfortable thing you’ve ever had to endure, but the relief you feel will be totally worth it.
2. Apply Heat Several Hours after You Workout
Once a few hours have gone by, it’s a great idea to apply some heat to your sore muscles. After exercise, your muscles tend to tighten up, which is part of the reason why they get so sore. Putting a heating pad on those sore muscles helps increase the blood flow, which loosens up the muscles and helps get rid of some of the soreness.
3. Sip Some Pineapple Juice
Pineapples contain bromelain, which is a plant compound that has anti-inflammatory properties. When you drink a glass or two after a workout, it can help keep your muscles from swelling too much, which definitely cuts down on the soreness you feel. Since pineapple juice tastes so good, this shouldn’t be hard, right? Tart cherry juice has similar properties if you prefer it.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Your Sore Muscles
Just because you have sore muscles doesn’t mean you can just sit around and take it easy. In fact, using your sore muscles can help them recover and cut back on the discomfort. Using your muscles in a less intense way can help reduce the amount of soreness you have by keeping them loose and the blood flowing.
5. Self-Massage is a Great Thing
Massaging sore muscles helps improve blood flow and can help control inflammation to cut back on soreness. Because a traditional massage is probably the last thing you want when your muscles hurt, self-massage is a much better option because it allows you to control how hard you are pressing on your muscles.
6. Pop a Couple of over the Counter Pain Meds
Pain meds, such as acetaminophen, are designed to help ease pain and reduce swelling, making it a pretty good option after a workout. If you’ve just finished a particularly intense workout, take a couple of pills right away, which can help reduce the discomfort and pain before it even starts. Continue taking the meds every six hours or so until the soreness starts to ease up.
7. Change the Way You Workout from Here on out
Now that you know what to do after your workout, think about how you can change your future sessions. Experts suggest having a cup or two of coffee before you exercise to cut back on swelling afterward. Also, make sure you stretch a bit before getting started, which gets the blood flowing to your muscles. Spend the last 10 minutes or so of your workout doing some light aerobics, which studies show can help reduce soreness later.
Do you get sore after you exercise? What do you do about it?