Sore muscles are a beautiful thing. They’re the surest sign that you just had a great workout. They’re a badge of honor. They make a good night’s sleep even more satisfying.
But they still hurt, so let’s look at 7 easy ways to soothe them.
#1 – STRETCH
You already stretched after your workout? So? You could always stretch again. It’s good for you! Sure, stretching prevents workout injuries, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Any time you stretch, you’re giving your body better blood circulation, better posture, and a better chance of avoiding muscle injury. Also, you’re releasing stress (which might be part of the reason you’re still sore).
As long as you stretch safely, you really can’t stretch too much.
#2 – MASSAGE
Massages come with a lot of the same benefits as stretching. They relax your muscles, help with blood circulation, and relieve stress. Actually, massages are some of the best stress relief you can ask for. Whether you’re swapping massages with a friend or going in for spa treatment, massages combine muscle relaxation with a personal touch to create a deep, deep calm.
What, you think massages are just a special treat? You’re an awesome fitness champion. You deserve it.
#3 – HEAT
Ever get confused by all the controversy surrounding heat and ice? Don’t worry, I’ll make it simple for you: if your soreness is spread throughout your body and lasts more than one day, use heat. An electric blanket or a sit in the Jacuzzi are great options here.
#4 – COLD
Again, keeping it simple: if you have a small spot of soreness that just popped up recently, use cold. The best way to do this is with a cold pack or baggy full of ice wrapped a few times around in a towel. Remember, indirect cold is safer than direct cold, which can damage your muscles.
#5 – LIGHT EXERCISE
When I say light here, I mean really light. Think a stroll through the park or a leisurely dip in the swimming pool. This one really depends on personal preference, so try out a few different light exercises and see which feels most comfortable to you.
#6 – ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Most muscle soreness comes from inflammation, which happens naturally after intense activity. Hey, wanna fight that inflammation by eating delicious food?
Of course you do! There’s a whole world of anti-inflammatory foods out there, but for starters why not stock up on green tea, salmon, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cinnamon, and coffee? That’s a meal and a desert right there!
#7 – REST
You won’t hear this often so listen up: put your feet up. Turn on the TV. Take a cat nap. Go ahead and do nothing.
Obviously, rest is a good way to wait out muscle soreness, but it’s also a crucial part of any proper fitness plan. When you space out your workouts just enough for your muscles to repair, you’ll notice a nice bump up in strength the next time you do those same exercises. This is what building muscle is all about.
So yeah kick back…until your next workout.