I have been actively working out for almost 2 years now. While I may be on my a-game. There are certainly days that sore and stiff muscles hamper my fitness goals.
We all have heard the saying no pain, no gain… but sometimes it is important to remember that we need to put ourselves and our body’s first. The last thing you want to do is overwork your muscles. You want to find methods that help soothe muscles and in turn help to reduce and limit the possibility of injury. Taking rest days are certainly key, as it helps your body recover, but what else can you do to help soothe sore muscles post workout?
Here are some of my favourite methods to relieve sore, achy muscles post-workout:
- Cool-Off. Re-hydrate post-workout with a nice, tall cold glass of ice water. Jump in a cold shower or in a tub of ice water. Apply a cold compress. All of these approaches are effect ways to soothe sore, stiff muscles. It’s proven that the coolness helps reduce inflammation.
- Apply Heat. Run yourself a hot bath. Apply a heating pad or hot compresses. Heat helps increase blood flow, so by applying it to the problem area it helps promote the healing of small tears.
- Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath. This goes hand in hand with applying heat. Run yourself a hot bath, add a cup of epsom salt and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Epsom salt soaks helps relieve stress, inflammation and ease pain making it a beneficial way to treat and soothe your sore, achy body. Epsom salt is high in magnesium, which is why it is a great way to go about detoxifying your body. Just be sure to stay hydrated!
- Consume Protein & Stay Hydrate. If you just finished a high-intensity exercise, which involved resistance or strength training your body will need protein as the muscles work to rebuild themselves. Post-workout I always opt for apple slices with natural peanut butter, a protein shake or a greek yogurt. Be sure to also get in your 8 glasses of water daily. Staying hydrated is imperative!
- Get a massage. Do you have benefits through your employer? If so take advantage of them, and reap in their benefits. Through our benefits plan we get a certain amount allocated per year for therapeutic purposes. This includes trips to visit a registered massage therapist. If you can, make a point to squeeze in a visit to see a massage therapist quarterly. Massages are a great way to relax, unwind and relieve sore, stiff muscles. A great way to pamper yourself! Guilt-free!
- Stretch it out. Be sure to incorporate warm-ups and cool-downs in all of your workouts. Not only that take the time to stretch. Every few days I throw in a 20 minutes yoga and flexibility or stretch to my exercise routine. Stretching helps make new muscle fibers more elastic. Therefore reducing the risk of potential injury.
- Follow an Exercise Calendar. If you participated in a high intensity (HIIT) program yesterday. Take it low-key the next day by doing cardio. Cardio is a great way to keep active, stretch out stiff muscles and warm up your body. As mentioned above, heat helps increase blood flow in the body, which helps alleviate pain from small tears related to muscle injury.
- Use muscle relief ointments. One of my favourite brands is Deep Relief. Using an ointment like Deep Relief Heat Spray is a safe and effective treatment option that provides fast acting pain relief on contact. These products include topical analgesics, which have active ingredients that absorb quickly into skin target sore muscles and provide fast-acting pain relief. Products like the Deep Relief Heat Spray stimulate blood circulation and produce a warming sensation to relax sore muscles. Perfect for everyday muscle and joint aches or chronic pain.
- Use ibuprofen. When all else fails, it is okay to sometimes rely on ibuprofen to help alleviate the pain from muscle soreness. While it can’t heal your problem area, it can help reduce the pain that accompanies it.
- Take rest days. Plain an simple. Don’t over-exert your body. It needs time to rest and recuperate. For every 5 to 6 days of exercise, I take 1 or 2 rest days. It all depends on the intensity of my workouts that week.
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Disclosure: I received Deep Relief Heat Spray to help cultivate this post. No other compensation was received. All opinions are those of my own.