Sore Muscles After a Workout? Try These Tips
By Paul Rothbart
Anyone who works out, especially with intensity, knows the feeling of sore muscles. The day after some solid training, things get stiff and start to hurt. This is called delayed-onset muscle soreness. It's a sign that muscles have been damaged and the body is repairing them. That's how muscles get bigger and stronger. Part of the healing process is inflammation. Lactic acid and other fluids accumulate in the muscles and cause soreness. So some soreness is a good sign. However, it still hurts and there are things you can do to minimize soreness. Here are some tips.
Hydration seems to be the answer to almost any health issue. Water is vital. It flushes the fluids from your system, reducing inflammation and pain. It's important to drink water while working out and after you finish. Every drop of sweat is a step toward dehydration. Don't wait until you feel thirsty. By that point, you are already becoming dehydrated.
Eat 30 Minutes After a Workout
After an intense workout, your body and muscles need fuel to regenerate. Eating a protein-rich food with some carbohydrates provides the amino acids and energy needed to rebuild muscle tissue. Stay away from sugars and fats which provide little other than calories. With proper nutrition after a hard training session, you may be able to speed up the recovery process and lessen the soreness.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
The body always needs sleep, but after a tough workout, it's even more important. Get to bed early enough to get a full 8-9 hours. Don't drink any alcohol or caffeinated beverages within two hours of going to sleep. Avoid stimulation and start to relax within that same window. Sleep won't eliminate soreness, but it will help the body recover faster and the pain may not last as long.
Do Some Light Training the Next Day
Rest is important, but getting your muscles moving a bit will increase blood flow and wash away the lactic acid and other fluids. Don't do it, but a slow run or walk or some easy calisthenics will be better than just sitting around. Use about 30 percent of your maximum effort.
Training hard improves your health but often results in sore and stiff muscles the next day. While that is a sign that you are getting stronger, you don't have to grin and bear it. You can shorten how long the pain lasts and make it less intense by trying these tips.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Montgomery, Ala.