5 Tips to Quickly Get Rid of Muscle Soreness
One of the biggest downfalls following a tough bout of exercise is sore muscles. Usually, such aches are caused by microscopic tears in muscle fibers brought on by intense physical activity.
While muscle soreness is a good sign that your workout was effective, it can be unbearable at times.
You might find it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks such getting out of bed or dressing up. Luckily, sore muscles do not have to slow you down, as there are many ways to get some much-needed relief. Here are five tips to quickly get rid of muscles soreness.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of sore muscles is to simply rest and allow the muscles to heal themselves. Whether in the form of an afternoon nap following an intense morning workout, a good night’s sleep, a session of deep meditation, some time spread out on the couch, or 2 rest days in between workout sessions, resting gets the muscles started on their healing process. The sooner the muscles begin the healing process, the faster they will get back to a sore-free state.
2) Get Out Some Ice
Ice offers the most effective and fastest way to get rid of muscle soreness. The cold temperature from ice reduces inflammation in sore muscles and joints, prevents further damage of worn muscles, and speeds up healing all at the same time. This icing can be done by either applying ice packs over sore areas several times a day for 20-minute intervals or having a 12 to 15-minute ice bath.
For best results, you should start icing muscles within the first 12 hours after an intense workout that is likely to cause muscle soreness. Starting early helps reduce the intensity of the soreness and also enables sore muscles to recover faster than normal.
3) Trigger an Increase in Blood Flow
Once the sore muscles are properly rested and iced, it is essential that you get some blood moving into the affected areas. Increased blood flow into sore muscles speeds up the removal of inflammatory chemicals that trigger soreness while also prompting the delivery of nutrients that boost the recovery of worn out muscles.
One of the best ways to increase blood flow to muscles is to introduce heat to sore areas. Anything from a hot bath/shower, to applying heat packs, to sitting in a sauna will deliver satisfactory result. Light exercises in the form of stretches, walks, and swimming are also great at increasing blood flow.
4) Eat More Protein
As previously mentioned, the main cause of workout related muscle soreness is tiny tears that occur within muscle fibers during intense physical activities. Protein plays a key role in helping muscle tissue to repair these tears. Therefore, indulging in ample amounts of protein rich foods can help to get rid of sore muscles by enabling the body to recover faster than normal from intense physical activity.
5) Massage Sore Areas
A massage offers 2 crucial benefits that help relieve muscle soreness. Firstly, the kneading involved in massaging has been proven to relieve solidness in muscles and can therefore undo the stiffness that usually comes with muscle soreness. Secondly, a good massage increases blood flow to muscles thereby helping to put a quick stop to muscle soreness.
If you choose the option of massaging away the soreness of aching muscles, it is advisable to go for a deep tissue massage from a trained professional as that offers the best results. However, if you cannot afford a trained masseuse, having a friend massage your muscles or using massage tools such as a massage ball or foam roller will be enough to relieve soreness.
Intense physical activity and muscle soreness often go hand in hand. So, the next time you find yourself suffering from this unfortunate side effect of an intense workout, use these 5 effective soreness-relieving methods and your muscles will be feeling all new and fresh with enough time to spare before your next scheduled workout session.
Does Massage Prevent Workout Injury?
Massage therapy is one of the essential parts of a healthy exercise program. Many fitness instructors recommend it as a way to speedup recovery following vigorous exercise. In fact, deep tissue pressure works well to reduce muscle inflammation that causes aches.
Another benefit of massage is the role it plays in injury prevention. It may be hard to grasp why, but regular visits to a masseuse can lessen the risk of getting hurt while working out. So how does massage prevent workout injury? Let’s take a look at the scientific explanations that prove how massage therapy can be beneficial for people who exercise regularly.
1) Reduced Muscle Tension and Improve Flexibility
When you engage in high intensity fitness trailing and sports competitions, the muscles tend to become tense after repeated contraction and relaxation. As a result, fascia and other musculoskeletal tissues adhere together to form knots. When that happens, muscle flexibility reduces and your chances of being injured rise. Tissue compression and stretching during massage therapy releases tension and pressure buildup in stiff muscles. Once your muscles loosen up, they will also be more flexible and less likely to incur injury the next time you hit the track, field or gym.
2) Massage Helps to Maximize Circulation
The long, stroking movements of massage improve blood circulation, and this can have several benefits when it comes to injury prevention. For starters, nutrients will reach sore muscles where they are needed to regenerate scar tissue. What’s more, good blood flow also enhances removal of toxins such as lactic acid, which leaves muscles feeling sore and fatigued. Increasing blood flow with massage therefore speeds up the recovery process so that your muscles will be at full potential the next time you exercise, thus reducing overuse injuries.
3) Pain Reduction
If you exercise on a regular basis, then you are no stranger to muscle soreness. However, when you have a massage, muscle pain tends to subside a lot faster than simply waiting it out. Much of this has to do with the fact that deep tissue strokes bring down inflammation and promote excretion of lactic acid. So, if you have a massage after exercise, you are less likely to be in pain during the next workout session. Being pain-free during exercise is important because extreme soreness might reduce your body’s ability to absorb shock or impair coordination, which will put you at a greater risk of injury.
4) Improved Quality of Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is vital when it comes to recovering full muscle function after strenuous exercise sessions. You can improve the quality of your sleep by getting a massage after intense workouts. Since massage therapy relaxes the mind and body, it helps to promote better sleep. This explains why many people sleep better the night after a massage. But, what does this have to do with injury prevention? Well, being well rested prior to your exercise session will improve focus. Consequently, you are less likely to make mistakes that result in injury when your mind is fully focused on a workout.
If you struggle with recurring injuries following intense exercise, consider adding massage therapy to your fitness regimen. It will decrease muscle tension, improve flexibility, maximize circulation, relieve soreness and improve your quality of sleep. You can enjoy all of these benefits by having a deep tissue massage at least once or twice per week. This will allow you to be at your best when competing in sports or exercising for fitness, thus reducing the changes of suffering injuries.