by Marc David
Muscle soreness can affect any person, at any age. There are many different causes of this uncomfortable health condition. Individuals who experience this complication often do so as a result of damage to the actual muscles as a result of injury and/or illness. Many experience spasms in the muscles, or even damage in the area of the sensitive muscle tissues. Any type of sickness or medical condition that results in cellular damage can lead to sore, stiff muscles. Here, you will learn about a few sore muscle tips that can help you overcome the challenges that this type of pain can bring to your life. These tips are for those who work out regularly. There are a couple of things you can do in order to prepare for the workout you are about to engage in. If you take some simple precautionary steps, you will be able to take the heat off of the muscles throughout the body.
Phase 1: Pre-training Recovery: Leg Elevation
One of the first things that you can do is elevating the legs. This is especially helpful because of the fact that many of us fall into a slump and either stand or sit for excessive amounts of time prior to the workout. When this happens, the muscles are stiff and unprepared for the strain of a workout. However, if you take the time to stretch and elevate the legs, you will find that the muscles are more prepared.
A “warm-up” is always a good idea when it comes to preparing for your workout. Not only can it prepare your muscles to reduce the possibility for a strain to these components of the body, but it also helps to prepare the respiratory and circulatory system for the impending workout.
Relaxation techniques can also be an effective strategy when it comes to soothing the muscles prior to a highly strenuous and physical workout. If you take the simple steps mentioned here and apply them, you are less likely to experience sore muscles and physical strain.
Phase 2: Recovery during Training: Rest Intervals between Sets
A great way to boost the intensity of any workout without changing a single thing is to decrease the rest time between sets. You’ll instantly get more work done in less time. However, if you feel that the intensity is too high, you can increase the time between sets and help reduce the build-up of lactic acid as well. The time you take to rest between sets has a significant impact on your next set as well as future performance.
Movement between Sets:
It’s like a warm-up and cool-down all over again but between the sets. Most people understand the importance of warming up before lifting weights. They also know about a proper cool down after working out.
But did you know that you can use those sample principles on a minute level in between your sets? This movement not only serves as a ‘transition’ between an all-out effort and recovery but it aids in better circulation and helps reduce swelling of muscular tissues.
Remember that soreness can be caused by a few hypotheses (tissue damage, muscle damage, spasms). But did you stop to think that if you keep on training “heavy” you just keep on damaging the muscle at a micro level over and over without a chance to recover? Incorporating a light day or week into your training can help flush the area with new blood, reduce the formation of scar tissue and flush waste from the area. Planning these types of workouts in your training program will speed up the time needed to recover as well as add variety to your program which in turn provides overall recovery.
Once you have started your workout session, there are many things that you can do to help ease the transition that your muscles are experiencing. One of the first things that should be done is that you should gradually increase the complexity and intensity of the workout that you are participating in. When you feel as if you need a break ¾ whether physically or mentally— you should take it. Pushing yourself builds character, yes, but it can also break down your body. This is especially true when working with the muscles. Taking breaks as appropriate can really benefit your workout. Cooling down is just as appropriate as warming up when it comes to your muscle workout activity.
If you find that you experience damage to the muscles as a result of your workout, it is important to remember that the body needs some time to replenish and recover. Mentally, you may believe that missing a few days or even a week of your workout may hurt you, but the truth is that is really and truly only in your mind. It is better to take the time off in order for the body to recover than it is to continually push yourself and cause more damage to your muscles. If you feel as if you are unable to handle taking a complete break from your physical workout, then you should consider lightening the load of your workout.
Any type of relief that you can provide your muscles will be appropriate.
Phase 3: Post Training Recovery
My strong hunch is that most people will be unable to avoid soreness at some point and seek treatment. So that’s why there are a few ways you can help reduce the severity of soreness during your training as well as aid in the recovery process after your training.
If you find that you suffer from aching, sore muscles, you may consider implementing the use of contrast showers. This means that you expose the sore area to both hot and cold water in order to increase blood circulation. In addition to this, it helps to relieve any type of stiffness that may be occurring in the body. It has been discovered that individuals who go back and forth with heat and something cool to relieve muscle soreness achieve success more quickly than those that do not take this step. Improved circulation helps in the area of reducing inflammation and pain in general. If you experience pain as a result of an injury, the contrast shower can prove to be exceptional when it comes to pain relief!
Post Workout Nutrition:
After your workout, your body is in a prime time to devour nutrients. This is an ideal time to give it the protein it needs with the carbs for energy recovery. [Remember your essential minerals and trace minerals, which are vital for muscle repair! See article on Mineral Benefits] You see, if muscle soreness is caused by microtrauma resulting in cellular damage then obviously you want to give your body plenty of materials quickly to repair itself. Proper post workout nutrition can reduce the amount of soreness you can experience.
This can encompass such things as therapeutic massage, sauna, whirlpool, chiropractic adjustments, acupressure and others are among the more popular therapeutic modalities. Make no mistake….
Recovery really begins when you leave the gym. Depending on factors such as your level of fitness, age, medical conditions, you may be wise to use some or all of these post-workout recovery methods to speed up overall recovery.
There’s no magic formula per se but anything you can do to help speed the recovery process will result in less muscular discomfort and quicker recovery for the next workout.
There are over-the-counter products and medications that can assist pain relief associated with sore muscles. You can choose products like ActiveOn, Absorbine JR, and Aspercreme, to name a few…**
Last, but not least, if you are experiencing sore muscles, it is important that you take the time to sleep. Sleep has been proven to be highly effective when it comes to soothing soreness in the body. This is because, when you sleep, the body goes through a natural restorative process in which is works diligently to repair any injuries that the body may be recovering from, as well as any other complications that may be occurring.
While there is no set number of hours you need to sleep, it’s still clear that sleep is vital to recovery. This is the time your body repairs and regenerates that entire microtrauma.
If you aren’t getting enough quality sleep, it can affect your overall recovery and body’s ability to repair itself. That can lead to prolonged muscle soreness. The amount of sleep each person needs will vary.
Make no mistake about muscle soreness…it’s uncomfortable! But by using any or all of the above recovery methods you can significantly reduce the duration of muscle soreness. More important than that…
Create a periodized program that helps to keep your body in a state of recovery and avoid overtraining.
In conclusion, there are many sore muscle tips that you can engage in to relieve the symptoms associated with injuries, everyday wear, and any other type of damage that you may have experienced. By using the ideas listed here, you are sure to experience a faster degree of recovery, as well as relief.