Confession: I once had to scoot down the stairs on my butt because the muscle soreness in my legs was so intense. I know you’ve experienced that pain. The “OMG I can’t even lower myself into a chair”, pain. The, “I can’t lift my shirt over my head” pain. Or even the, “Ow, ow, ow,…Don’t make me laugh my abs hurt too much!” pain. It’s happened to all of us – especially when we just start a new exercise program.
Muscle soreness is common when you first start a new fitness routine. Now that we’re over a week into the New Year, many beginners just starting their fitness programs may be considering stopping or quitting due to extreme soreness, cramping and muscle fatigue.
There are a few ways to help ease the pain of your new exercise routine.
- Flush Out The Pain – A hot bath will help ease your muscle pain. But you can try to help flush the lactic acid from your muscles if you instead alternate hot and cold. If you can stand it – and you have to be tough to do it – get in an icy shower for 30 seconds, then turn the temperature to hot (as hot as you can stand) for 2 minutes – alternating back and forth for about ten to fifteen minutes.
- Potassium – A lack of potassium causes an electrolyte imbalance in your muscles, which will make your muscles cramp up. Try eating foods high in potassium before you exercise. Click Here To Find Out How Much Potassium You Need Per Day.
- Magnesium & Calcium – There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night because of a brutal Charley horse. Supplementing your diet with magnesium and calcium rich foods can help prevent this from happening. Foods like black beans, raw broccoli, halibut, pumpkin seeds, and cooked spinach are high in magnesium, and dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese will help give your muscles an important calcium boost.
Work It Out – You’re so sore you don’t think you can raise your foot high enough to step up on the treadmill let alone do a workout. But in fact, doing a light workout when you’re incredibly sore will help ease the pain. It will hurt at first, but you should feel a lot better even after only 5 or 10 minutes into your workout.
Warm-Up – Think of your muscles as rubber bands. If you put a rubber band in the freezer and try to stretch it, it’ll break. But if you warm it up first, then it can stretch. Warming up for 5 minutes before you exercise will help prevent muscle soreness in the future. Click Here For More on Warming Up
- Stretching - Stretching after every workout helps decrease the likelihood you’ll experience muscle soreness. If you’re already sore however, get up and move for a few minutes to warm up your muscles and then try stretching them out. Repeat as necessary, and don’t try and overdo it – just light static stretches. Click Here For More on Stretching
Ease Into It – Severe muscle soreness is actually not good – you don’t want to jump in to a new fitness routine and over-do it. Try easing yourself into a new exercise program so you don’t injure yourself or have to contend with the extreme discomfort of muscle soreness again.