Muscle soreness can be minor, with a slight feeling of,…”Yeah, I worked out yesterday”,…to just plain excruciating. You know what I’m talking about, everyone’s done it from time to time, the “OMG, What did I do to myself, I don’t think I can go back to the gym for days.” Kind of muscle soreness. There are some simple things you can do that will decrease the likelihood that you’ll be sore after your next workout. Because let’s face it, who wants to go back to the gym when you feel like your body is one big muscle cramp.
Yeah, it sort of eats into the tiny amount of time you’ve set aside each day to workout. It feels like you’re wasting your time. But I always tell people, your muscles are like rubber bands. If you take a rubber band, put it in the freezer so it’s nice and cold, then stretch it – the rubber band breaks. But if you were to warm it up first, pulling at it slowly, then the rubber band will stretch to full capacity.
DON’T OVER DO IT
Especially if you’re first starting, or getting back into it after a lengthy hiatus, we all sometimes jump in with both feet – and then regret it the next morning. Work into a routine in steps. Start out with something that maybe feels a little easier, see how you do, and then increase it the next day. Just make sure your body is up to the challenge. I know that after a long break, I want to jump back into heavy lifts and lots of lunges,…and my body can do it. But the next day I nearly always regret it. So if you’ve been away from the weights for awhile, maybe just step in one toe at a time so-to-speak.
Stretch yourself out immediately after every workout. Yes, it takes time, especially if you do it right. But it’s worth it. Stretching not only decreases muscle soreness, but it helps keep your muscles healthy. I’m a person who is diligent about my warm-ups but I sometimes cut my stretching short. So I get it – you’re done exercising, you just want to get on with your day. BUT, I’ve tried really hard to think of stretching as a treat, a massage almost. Just taking deep breaths, and trying to enjoy the simple task of easing out of my workout. Try to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds, and make sure to feel the stretch the entire time, meaning, if the stretch sensation starts to abate, reach for a deeper stretch.
Water, water, water, water. Drink water. It’s not hard to carry around a water bottle, not only when you’re exercising, but also all day, every day. Just. Drink. Water.
Using a foam roller is essentially a more affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. By slowing rolling over various areas of your body, you’ll help speed up the healing and recovery process after your workout.