However, a few hours later, you may start to feel worse as you start to experience a soreness that you feel when you’re walking– and you may even start to question if you want to work out anymore. This pain can last for days, especially if you tried out a new exercise that your body wasn’t used to. The pain leads to muscle tension, and you know if you exercise through the pain, you can cause you body some real damage.
So what happens if you’re always sore, but you don’t want to skimp on the gym? Here, we will give you five tips to help soothe your damaged muscles, repair torn tissue, and improve the relaxation in your muscles and your blood flow. Following these tips will help you speed up your recovery and reduce your muscle soreness, which will help you return to the gym sooner.
1. Eat a Banana
In order to fight dehydration, it is important to get enough potassium in your diet. This will also help you avoid getting muscle cramps during your workout. When you fight post-workout dehydration with potassium, you can avoid any severe muscle cramps that may come after a workout.Most Americans are deficient in potassium, so it’s important to include potassium-rich foods such as bananas in the diet. One medium banana will add 400 mg of potassium to your day’s diet, which is about 11% the daily value of potassium.
2. Take Hot and Cold Showers
To help soothe achy muscles, alternate between hot and cold water in the shower. The contrast in temperature helps fight tension and improve blood flow. Switch from hot to cold every 30 to 40 seconds.Doing these switches about ten times is enough to have an effect. As you get more used to each extreme temperature, increase the intensity to create an external ‘pumping’ of blood by cooling your muscles and then heating them. This will help bring fresh blood into your muscles for a faster recovery.
3. Soak in Salt Water
Taking a hot bath after your workout will make you feel relaxed because the hot temperatures pull the toxins out of your skin. As the water starts to cool down, the toxins are released from your body through your skin. A bath also helps to soothe aches and pains, increase blood flow, and relaxes your mind.Adding Epsom salt to your bath helps alleviate soreness, muscle cramps and pain, inflammation, and aches. Epsom is a magnesium sulfate, which is a natural muscle relaxer. When it is in a salt form, it pulls water and lactic acid away from any injured tissues to help reduce swelling. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt before soaking in it for at least 15 minutes.
4. Drink Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is high in antioxidants, and research has shown that it can reduce muscle pain and weakness following a tough strength training routine. Drinking 12 ounces of tart cherry juice can also reduce the pain associated with exercise-induced muscle damage after a weight-lifting session. Experts believe this to be true due to the high levels of polyphenolic compounds that are present in tart cherry juice, such as flavonoids and anthocyanin. Keep this juice at home so you can drink it as soon as you get back from the gym.If you can’t stomach tart cherry juice, watermelon juice is a reasonable alternative. It tastes good and it is great for replenishing your electrolytes after you workout. Studies have shown that drinking about 16 ounces of watermelon juice after a tough workout can reduce muscle soreness because watermelon is rich in l-Citrulline, which is an amino acid that has been known to help with muscle soreness.
5. Use a Foam Roller
Using a foam roller can break up any tension in your muscles and fight muscle soreness. Foam rolling can hurt a bit during the process, but it will alleviate pain and muscle tightness in the long run and help to prevent you from experiencing an injury in the future. You can even work a very specific muscle by switching a foam roller for a hard ball such as a lacrosse ball.When you apply pressure to a knot in your muscle, the elastic fibers disperse back to their true alignment, which will help you get into lengthening positions with better body alignment and restore your proper movement patterns.