How to Reduce Muscle Soreness After a Workout
Have you ever woken up the morning after a grueling workout and your body is so sore, you can hardly get out of bed? Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. This is usually cased when starting a new routine, new exercise program, or changing the intensity or duration of your workout.
DOMS is a sign that you worked you body like you usually haven’t, which is a good thing! You are challenging your body to new movements, intensity levels, or longer durations. Although there isn’t a way to completely avoid getting DOMS, there are ways to reduce muscle soreness after working out.
A lack of electrolytes contributes to muscle soreness, so you need to make sure you are staying hydrated throughout your workout. When you are exercising, your muscles are working harder than they normally do, so they demand more oxygen and therefore need more blood pumping around. Around 90% of your blood volume actually consists of water, so hydration is much more important and effective than simply quenching your thirst!
Be sure to drink water throughout the duration of your workout. This will help replace fluids that are lost when you are working out. It is recommended to drink at least 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes when performing physical activities.
When you are done working out, stretch out your muscles. I fee like this is often forgot about at the end of a workout. Stretching is one of the best post exercise things you can do to help reduce future muscle soreness.
If you really want to work out those muscles, I would suggest using a foam roller, massage stick , or even a massage gun! (Click the links to see these items, they are all affordable and work great!) These will help work out those sore muscles.
I would suggest even stretching out your muscles even when you are sore the next day! I know it’s probably that last thing you want to do, but it will help the recovery process. Light exercise that can help to stretch the sore muscles can also provide some pain relief by keeping your muscles moving. Even going for a walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift, will help.
It might hurt at first when trying to stretch out your muscles or perform some sort of light exercise, but once you get the blood flowing, after a few minutes, it will start to feel better. Check out our Workout of The Day page for workout ideas for when you want an active recovery. They aren’t all super intense!
This is probably everyone’s favorite recovery method. Sleep is so powerful and necessary to the human body not only to recover, but also for your well-being. When you sleep, your body naturally produces muscle building chemicals such as human growth hormone. Chemicals like HGH are essential to the muscle recovery process. The rule of thumb is to aim to get anywhere from 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
If you find it difficult to reach the state of deep sleep required for a good recovery, then try practicing deep and slow breathing, and also turn off any electronics an hour before going to bed. Taking an Epsom salt bath can also help to bring on a state of deep, high quality sleep.
All in all, being sore after a workout is a good thing, but not enjoyable! Take these steps to help reduce muscle soreness after your workouts!