Exercising is good for you. Not only does it benefit your physical and mental health, but it also leaves you feeling good and energized. Unless your muscles are sore. In that case, you can lose sight of the good sides of working out, as you struggle with the unpleasantness of the pain in your muscles. Luckily, there are several ways for you to deal with this issue and fully enjoy all of the advantages of your workout routine.
When you do more exercise than your body is used to, you’re likely to feel some soreness in your muscles. In order to prevent this, you should try stretching for a few minutes before you even begin working out. Some simple movements involving your arms, legs and neck will do. This should increase your flexibility and the range of motion, so that you also lower the risk of getting hurt while performing some of the more demanding exercises. Stretching is also a good way to relieve soreness after your workout.
When you’re done with your routine, take some 10 minutes or so to stretch, so that you feel a bit better. By stretching before and after exercising, you’re allowing your body to gradually adapt to the workout and to ease out of the exercise mode afterwards.
A good massage should help you relax, so it’s logical that it can do the same for your muscles after a strenuous workout session. If you don’t want to rush, you don’t have to, as the massage will have a good effect on your muscles even if you don’t administer it straight away, but a few hours after you’ve exercised. On the other hand, if you want a massage right after you’ve worked out, but you don’t know where or how to get one at your gym or at home, consider purchasing a high-quality muscle massager.
These can be portable, so that you can carry them in your gym bag, keep them in a drawer at home or even take them along with you when you travel. There are also some excellent silent ones, so that you don’t have to worry if you’ll bother anybody else by using them. Their battery life is long enough for you to get several massages in order to relieve any tension in your muscles and stay well after you’ve worked out, which makes them a great investment for any athlete or a workout enthusiast.
When you apply a cold treatment to your muscles, you actually decrease your blood flow somewhat, which consequently reduces some of the inflammation you might have. Plus, the cold numbs the treatment spot, meaning that it can act as a type of a natural anesthetic. This is also something you don’t have to hurry with, as it should work up to 48 hours after your workout or any injury you’ve sustained while exercising. It’s important, though, that you don’t put ice directly on your skin. Instead, put it in an adequate pack or simply fill a water bottle with very cold water. You can also use a pad that you’ve kept in a freezer for a while.
Plus, you might want to bear in mind that heat therapy is also good for your muscles, as it promotes good blood flow, and the alternation between the cold and the heat might be an even more efficient way to get rid of the post-workout pain in your muscles. Again, don’t put anything extremely hot directly on your skin, so as not to hurt yourself.
While at the topic of heat therapy, taking a long, hot bath after you’ve been working out can do wonders for your muscles. Make sure that the water temperature is just below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or a little lower than 38 degrees Celsius, and don’t rush it. In fact, take your time and give yourself half an hour or even longer to revel in your bath. Soaking your body in water that warm can rid you of pain and spasms you might get after working out, even if you’ve hurt your neck or back a bit while exercising. Although this might not be a complete cure for your soreness, a submerging your body in hot water should allow the heat to reach deep into your muscles and supports recovery after engaging in intense physical activity.
If your body tells you that your workout has been too much for you and that you need to slow down, listen to it. Sore muscles are a sign that you might have overdone it, which is why, next time you want to exercise, you should probably make your workout much lighter. Instead of hitting the gym again, perhaps you could go to the pool and swim, or merely take a walk at your local park or even on one of the treadmills at your gym or at home. If that’s not something you want, maybe you should take a bike ride or try some restorative yoga, as that sort of gentle movement will keep your body moving without adding to your muscle pain. It’s a good way to remain active without putting any extra strain on your muscles and your body in general.
Listening to your body is always important. So, provide it with the physical activity it needs to function at its best, but as soon as you feel the pain in your muscles, react and treat them with the kindness and the respect you know your body deserves.