Muscle soreness can be the result of a variety of factors, some positive and some negative. A strong workout usually leads to muscle fatigue. A long day at work or running errands can also cause muscles exhaustion. In order to properly mend, you need to learn the appropriate measures that promote healing. Our guide on how to heal sore muscles will provide you with numerous tips to help recuperate faster.
Stretching is one of the best ways to break down muscle tissue. There are 4 main stretches but two that will be more beneficial in relieving sore muscles.
- Static stretching is the most common form of stretching. Its mechanics involve stretching a muscle to its longest point of flexibility and holding for 30 seconds. This allows you stretch out the tender areas and improve blood circulation. The more blood flow the faster your body can repair.
- Self-Myofascial stretching is the best technique for soreness. It involves the use of a foam roller or ball to help break down tender muscle spots. Soreness in muscles tends to be isolated and using a foam roller allows you to isolate a muscle group and work on those tender spots. The break down removes tension at a faster rate and increases blood flow.
Haven’t used a foam roller before? Our Foam Rolling Basics Lower Body and Upper Body guides will get you on the right path to quicker healing.
Stretching shouldn’t only be a pre and post workout regimen. Spending 5-10 minutes every morning and night to stretch helps prepare your muscles for the daily demand you plan to place on it. At night it helps alleviate the tension placed on them during the day.
A little movement can make all the difference also.
- Without adding resistance to your muscles, consider doing some light body weight work to get the blood flowing. Finished a long day of leg workouts, do so prisoner squats to get the blood flowing. Triceps burned out? Try some wall pushups to loosen up the triceps. Think low rep, low resistance.
- Yoga is beneficial to our body in so many ways. The slow controlled movements and strong poses help blood flow through our body. The breathing techniques and meditation help clear our mind and body of toxins also.
The food you eat can make all the difference in helping to heal your muscles at a faster rate.
- Protein is essential for muscle recovery post workout. Ideally a protein smoothie within 45 minutes post-workout can help decrease the prolonged muscle soreness. If you’re not a fan of smoothies, eggs, lean chicken breasts, salmon, greek yogurt and tofu are some great options.
- Carbs are also an essential part of muscle recovery. Carbs are our bodies key source of energy. With them, broken down muscle is replaced with newer healthy muscle. This also helps restore your energy levels for your next workout.
- Certain foods have the ability to aid in healing muscle also. Foods high in antioxidants help remove free radicals in our body which cause damage. Blueberries, fresh ginger, cherries, pomegranates and cranberries all have properties that help offset post workout fatigue. When consumed as juices before a workout these all have the ability to reduce muscle soreness. They also have properties which allow them to act similar to drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Vitamin C rich foods also contain antioxidants and are a great option. Oranges, kale, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli and papayas are all high in vitamin C.
Since our bodies are 60% water, hydration is always an important factor when considering any type of healing. Exercising removes water from your body and if you’re not properly hydrated, muscle soreness becomes more prevalent. Aim to drink 8-12 oz of water a day depending on your weight.
5. Hot vs. Cold Therapy
- Hot therapy such as a nice hot bath, naturally relaxes and increases blood flow to muscles.
- Cold therapy is best used for immediate relief. Ice packs help reduce swelling and sooth muscle soreness briefly.
6. Spa Treatment
You can pamper your muscles into rehabilitation in the comfort of your own home.
- Soaking in your tub is always relaxing. Instead of a bubble bath try our DIY Ginger Bath Detox to relax your muscles and soother your entire body.
- Creams have the ability to reach deep into our skin and provide a lasting soothing effect. Our DIY Natural Muscle Relaxer Cream uses lavender essential oil to relax joints and aid in muscle pain.
- You may not workout your feet, but they can get sore and tired from all the walking. Our DIY Peppermint Sugar Foot Scrub uses brown sugar and olive oil to moisturizer and cleanse your feet. Peppermint oil is a natural muscle relaxer and the smell provides aromatherapy.
Without proper rest your body won’t repair properly. Our bodies repair during while we sleep, so the more you incorporate the right food, drinks, movements and self treatment, the more your body will repair while you sleep.