Relief From Sore Muscles
By Ashley Chapman
Whether you are new to a workout regimen or pushing yourself to more difficult workouts, sore muscles are inevitable. While it is impossible to avoid sore muscles, there are ways that you can get relief from a rewarding workout.
Ice vs. Heat
When looking for sore muscle relief, it can be confusing on knowing whether you should be icing your muscles or applying heat. The difference between icing and heating is dependent on whether you are looking to soothe sore muscles and/or possible injury or to give relief to chronic pain.
Icing your muscles is best when you have a possible injury or excessive soreness in your muscles. Icing helps to lower inflammation, which can help with swelling. It is best to ice muscles that are sore or swelling within 48 hours.
If you are dealing with chronic pain (pain that is consistently in a certain region over a prolonged period), you may find relief in using heat. Those who suffer from pain such as arthritis (inflammation in the joint) and neck or back pain can most benefit from using a heat pad.
Stretching is important before and after a workout. Along with preventing injury, stretching allows your body a form of cooldown after exercise.
There are two forms of stretching that should be used depending on whether you are beginning a workout or just finished one, static and dynamic stretching.
If you are beginning a workout, dynamic stretches should be used to warm up your muscles. Examples of dynamic stretches include walking lunges, leg swings and high knees. When you end a workout, static stretching is most effective. These types of stretches help your muscles cool down and relax. Static stretching includes hamstring and quadriceps stretches.
Taking a Break
It is important to be purposeful when planning out what days you are choosing to work out. If you want to be active five days a week, it might be best to have longer or more intense workouts every other day. Then supplement lower impact activities in between. Activities that will keep you active but will keep the intensity down may include yoga and fast walking.
Investing in a foam roller is beneficial to anyone who is actively working out. Whether you lift weights, run, swim or cycle, using a foam roller can improve your overall flexibility as well as improve your muscle longevity.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.