A new workout program can be rewarding but we have to admit that it is very challenging, particularly if you have to brave the demolishing effect it does on your muscles hours after your session.
Regardless of your experience with exercising, intensive fitness sessions will make your calves and quads unbearable and you will barely have the motion required in the arms to put a shirt on.
Then you have the ailing back and shoulders that will render you stiff and unfit to bend at least for the next few days unless you treat them.
This is a common experience after a workout or exercise and most of us have been there, probably not just once or twice but several times! Actually, sore muscles are an indication of muscle repair or healing after sustaining microscopic tears during workouts or exercising, mostly after a longer run, lifting heavy weights, or a long session at the gym.
While this is not a cause for alarm, the best ways to manage sore muscles faster is to use natural remedies to offset the burning effects, unless the symptoms are too severe and there is need to see a physician.
The following remedies are tried and tested findings of wellness and health experts across the globe, which will offer you fast relief without any complications or side effects from sore muscles.
Sore Muscle Recovery Tips
1. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
With all the pain, this may sound difficult to achieve. However, the best way of relieving muscle pain is to give your muscles sufficient time to heal through getting enough sleep.
Sleeping not only relaxes the muscles but effectively provides time and a conducive atmosphere for protein synthesis, which is a key step in the healing process of muscles. Since sleeping at this time may not be easy, you may need to take some extra steps to get enough sleep.
Some people prefer to take milk or a cup of herbal tea to get some sleep, while others prefer listening to music or lulling themselves to sleep. Whatever options you decide to take, ensure you give yourself enough time to sleep and recover.
2. Drink Water and Healthy Fluids
Drinking more water significantly improves the healing rate of sore muscles. It is a step that is often bypassed by most people who instead try out unhealthy methods like creams and over-the-counter products.
Water keeps you hydrated and prevents further damage, thus increasing the healing rate on muscles. If you find drinking water boring, then the best option is to maximize your intake of fluids and foods that are rich in water.
While professional athletes have access to high-tech equipment such as cryotherapy chambers, the most accessible therapy for most of us is massage.
It has several health benefits, including pain relief, immunity enhancement, reducing stiffness, alleviating depression, and headache relief among others.
Moreover, massage is not an expensive and highly demanding exercise as all you need is to do is gently rub any essential oils on the aching muscles.
4. Drinking Milk Chocolate
Drinking milk chocolate is very useful for your aching muscles. It contains protein that is necessary for muscle recovery and experts recommend taking a cup of milk chocolate before bedtime or during breakfast.
Milk is rich in calcium and vital for building strong bones, whereas chocolate has antioxidants and nutrients essential for oxidation as well as limiting the risk of blood pressure and heart disease. Chocolate also helps to boost the power of your brain and offer much needed protection to the skin.
5. Take A Break from Intensive Exercises
Aching and stiffness will persist if you maintain or increase the intensity of your workouts. Reduce the training time and workout schedules to go together with your recovery.
This, however, does not mean that you will be indoors sleeping, simply do lighter exercises and have a good rest. This will give your muscles to recover and adjust to your new workout routine.
6. Get Enough Protein
All nutrients are needed during recovery of a disease and ailment, including sore muscles. However, the need for proteins can neither be ignored nor underrated. The idea is to take foods with high protein content before bedtime and in the morning after a good sleep.
It is an amazingly simple method, but with a remarkable outcome. You can choose to use snacks that are rich in proteins or natural sources of protein such as lentils, nuts, lean meats, fish, and chicken.
7. Compression Garments
Compression stockings, socks, and sleeves are garments that will certainly help to relieve muscle pain and related conditions after intense workouts.
Together with a balanced supply of proteins and other nutrients, compression garments are used the world over to reduce recovery time of aching muscles.
These garments are also ideal for people prone to sore muscles during workouts because they help to prevent muscle and joint injuries, swelling, and pain.
8. Heating and Proper Preparation
A significant number of sore muscles and muscle injuries are caused by lack of adequate heating and warming of the muscles before you start the real exercising.
Warming and stretching muscles makes them more flexible and capable of sustaining the forces during the actual exercising session, which minimizes the chances of sore muscle symptoms characterized by abrupt stretching.
Again, gently stretch the aching muscles mildly throughout the day and avoid staying motionless for long hours.
9. Take A Bath
A cold or warm bath is critical to the restructuring and healing of aching muscles. They help to reduce possible inflammation, stiffness, and muscle pain after workouts. Occasionally, people may choose to use ice baths, hot baths, and ice massage.
The effect is the same and at times you may consider using them interchangeably to hasten the speed of muscle recovery.
10. Cherry Juice
Cherry juice is one of the most effective post workout drinks with unimaginable beneficial properties. Firstly, cherry juice has antioxidant power to reduce inflammation and pain.
Moreover, cherry juice has long been known to prevent gout, enhance sleep, and as a good body builder. It is a great way to treat your aching muscles after workouts.
11. Take A Nap
Sleeping and taking a break may sometimes not be enough to alleviate the pain from sore muscles. A daily nap is therefore recommended as it helps you to regain energy and strength, and promotes a relaxing feeling when you are exercising.
Take short naps of between 30 to 40 minutes even during working hours to help you reduce pain and fatigue.
12. Maintain A Constant Supply of Carbohydrates
It is impossible to talk about nutrients and natural recovery of sore muscles without mentioning the importance of carbohydrates. Just like with proteins, increasing the consumption of carbohydrates is a key step towards muscle recovery.
Carbohydrates help your body to produce insulin and are credited with muscle building. Common sources of protein include sweeteners, bread, flour, jam, chips, cereals, and pasta. However, this should not interfere with your overall dietary needs.
13. Omega 3
A lot of inflammation takes place when muscles are aching. In order to treat the aches, managing the inflammation should be a key focus. Taking fish oil once daily helps to reduce inflammation.
In addition, while taking omega 3 drugs and supplement will need the opinion of your doctor, natural sources of omega 3 such as salmon, spinach, and nuts are not difficult to come by.
14. Keep Moving
We have talked about getting enough sleep, relaxing, reducing your exercising intensity, and taking short naps throughout the day. But does this mean that you now have the opportunity to motionlessly confine yourself in bed and wait till you recover? No.
Being motionless is detrimental to your recovery plan, hence the need to gently move the stiff body parts. This helps to promote blood circulation and subsequent supply of nutrients to other body parts.
Despite the pain and stiffness, take a little walk, exercise with a foam roller, or do anything that will assist you with improving body movement.
Like it is commonly said, prevention is better than a cure. The best way to treat sore muscles naturally is to prevent its occurrence in the first place by following the recommended safety measures, precautions, and requirements before you start your training. This starts with a good diet and proper planning of your workouts.
16. Choose A Good Training Program
Choosing the most appropriate training for your workouts is one of the most difficult tasks. It even gets more difficult for newbies.
When sore muscles persist, one of the best remedies is to consider changing your workout plan or resort to meditation, visualization, or imagery. The key is to change gradually and choose more soothing trainings that will work well for your muscles and health in general.
17. Avoid Overtraining
Let us be very sincere, the desire for quick results often lead to overexertion. The key is to take enough time and progress as you increase your strength and ability. It becomes a challenge when you are training alone at home.
In fact, there are cases when the best option would be to consider seeking the advice of a fitness trainer or coach. Maintaining heavy and excessive exercising will limit the prognosis of aching muscles. Stop or slow your progress when necessary.
18. Understand and Respond to Your Body
You already know that you can treat sore muscles without taking drugs. You can go farther than that and even prevent them altogether.
Paying attention to the demands of your body is the beginning of muscle pain prevention and treatment. Do not strain. Instead, train more if your body still feels strong and tactfully stop when you are low on strength.
19. Eat Well
Exercising alone is not a recipe to a healthy lifestyle. However, a healthy lifestyle relies heavily on balancing workouts, diet, and the mental health of every individual. Interestingly, this applies to the healing of muscle aches too.
Eat a balanced diet complete with all the essential nutrients about 60 minutes after ending your exercise. Again, ensure you take a lot of water after your meals.
20. Take Caffeine
This will be both exciting and captivating for lovers of caffeine drinks. It is great yes, but do not take too much of caffeine because it can easily cause muscle spasms. Caffeine has a wide range of health benefits.
Firstly, caffeine effectively relieves muscle pain, boosting memory, prevents of cataracts, protects from eye spasms, and offers considerable Alzheimer's disease risk reduction. It is therefore recommended to take a maximum of two cups of caffeinated beverages per day to help reduce pain and fatigue.
21. Epsom Print
Add a considerable amount of Epsom salt in a warm bath or a warm compress. Epsom salt is an awesome ingredient for magnesium which is a proven muscle relaxant and pain reliever.
Now you know that you do not need hundreds of dollars to treat your sore muscles. Epsom salt is a simple, easy, quick and inexpensive remedy for sore muscles and general muscle pain.
Rolling is an efficient remedy for sore muscles after workouts. It is a prompt treatment mechanism for sore muscles that is only comparable to the amazing effects of massage.
While foam rollers are now effectively used to stretch muscles, you can treat them with another cheap and easy to use item. Alternatively, use a rolling pin to stretch the stiff muscles and enjoy the soothing effects of rolling.
We have extensively discussed pre-workout and post-workout pain prevention and management mechanisms during workouts.
The last and very important part of these essential pain management tips for sore muscles is to observe the trends during your workouts. Breathe deeply, loosen properly, and add a little flexibility to your workouts.
Sore Muscle Recovery Conclusion
Sore muscles can give you no peace. They may even make you quit exercising and force you back to your old ways of life.
Do you really need to worry about sore muscles after reading through these proven treatment mechanisms? You will answer that for yourself, but it is quite clear that sore muscles are easy to manage through many quick and affordable options discussed above.
More importantly, with the long list of treatment methods, you will get a dozen of them that are available within your locality, or even within your home!