Muscle Soreness: Six Ways To Safeguard Yourself
One of the more difficult post-effects of a good, hard workout is muscle soreness. Depending on the severity, it can be an irritation or something that discourages you from going back to the gym.
A common misconception is that some muscle soreness is “just a sign of a good workout”. This isn’t always necessarily the case. What it means, physically, is usually just that you pushed yourself too hard, or that the exercises you’re doing are new to you.
And going too hard or going too new isn’t always necessarily better. Especially when you wind up sore the next day.
Join us, today, as we bring you six great tips for preventing muscle soreness at the gym.
Stretching: it’s not just your high school gym teacher’s way of eating into your dodgeball time. As it turns out, it’s really good advice.
Stretching is an investment you make before a workout, in your comfort after a workout. Lengthening the muscles you’ll be engaging during a workout promotes better mobility, and can help speed along your recovery.
Ask your trainer ahead of time what you’ll be working out today and make sure you thoroughly stretch those muscles each and every time.
Using a foam roller to massage your muscles after a workout is a great way to prevent muscle soreness, later on. Focus on each major muscle group for five rolls at least, moving up from your calves along the length of your body.
Spend extra time on sore spots. If it hurts, give it some attention.
You don’t need to limit foam rolling to the post-workout portion of your workout, either. Try it between workouts to ease muscle soreness and boost your mobility. Being able to see significant improvements will encourage you to get on that foam roller, even on days you aren’t training.
Now, keep in mind that eating to heal your sore muscles and eating at a calorie deficit to lose weight aren’t necessarily the same thing.
To help ease muscle pain, you’ll want to get enough healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in your diet. Each of these components helps to play a part in repairing and maintaining your muscles.
It’s not just what you’re eating, however, that helps fix sore muscles. You’ll also want to focus on strategically-timed protein intake. Eating protein-rich foods or workout supplements a few hours after a workout or right before you sleep are some of the best times for muscle repair.
To help reduce inflammation, try to eat foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in them, like salmon, avocado, free-range meats, and walnuts. These foods have natural anti-inflammatory properties that are tremendously helpful in preventing soreness from pushing your muscles too hard.
It may seem counterintuitive to move after you’ve just hurt yourself from too much exercise, but this is exactly what you need. Recovery workouts have been proven to work for people of all ages, helping your body roll out all of those uncomfortable kinks and sore areas.
Alternatively to a recovery workout, you could opt for a gentle yoga class or a leisurely hike to help combat stiffness and sore muscles.
Following any tough workout, use some form of ice to cool down your muscles. This is known to actively stave off inflammation, which is a natural reflex your body puts up when it overexerts itself.
Keeping inflammation down as much as possible frees you up to continue moving, which in its own right promotes healing.
Ultimately, the work you put in at the gym can take a toll on your body. Sometimes this is “all part of the process”. Other times, it’s just hurting yourself more than is necessary.
Hopefully, with today’s insightful tips and tricks on deck, you’ll be ready the next time you get ready to give your all at the gym.
Are you looking for fitness services in the Volusia County area? Get in touch with Journey Fitness, today, and get ready to take charge of your fitness!