In honor of the last two weeks of Power Training and the start of INSANITY classes at Piranha, this post could not come at a better time for some of you. Your walk up the stairs has turned into a bear crawl. You use the handicap bathroom stall to brace yourself on the safety bars. You literally have to roll out of bed. We’ve all been there… the day or two after an intense workout when you feel like this:
First, let’s address WHY your muscles feel the way they do. If you do an activity you’re not used to or exert yourself more than usual, the difference in muscle use can cause micro-tears in muscle fibers and connective tissue. As your body works to repair itself, you will feel some low-grade pain in that area.
This is where the phrase “no pain, no gain” comes in: those tears and the subsequent repair help make the muscle stronger, and that improves overall fitness.
But you obviously don’t want to be waddling around like a penguin all the time, so here are some ways to help muscle soreness:
Consume protein immediately after your workout.
Up to an hour after a workout (the sooner, the better), your muscles are most receptive for receiving nutrients, and primarily you want to feed them protein. Lunch meat, beef jerky and hard-boiled eggs are great whole food options. In a pinch? Protein powder, like the ones we sell at Piranha, mixed with water make for a perfect post-workout recovery drink!
Stretch it Out
When muscles are in recovery mode they tend to tighten up, making the soreness worse. Slow, gentle stretching can relieve that tight feeling and diffuse the pain. A walk or light jog can also loosen things up.
Rub the Pain Away
Do you really need an excuse to book a massage? Better yet, con a friend or loved one into giving you one. Or do it yourself with a foam roller!
Epsom Salt Bath
Magnesium, the primary component of epsom salts, is essential for healthy muscles and is a gentlenatural muscle relaxant. The salts, when added to a warm bath or compress, are absorbed by the skin and help with muscle soreness.
If it still hurts…
Don’t be afraid to pop a couple Ibprofen. It won’t cure the pain, but it’ll help take the edge off if you’re really struggling.
A proper warm-up and cool-down help prevent soreness and injury, so don’t skip out on either one!