Engaging in physical activities to improve your overall fitness and health is a great commitment. However, as you are pushing your body to its limits, it is essential to remember that muscle soreness can be a common side effect of intense workouts. Even though the feeling of having sore muscles can be uncomfortable sometimes, it is still important to nurture your muscles as you continue your fitness journey.
Understanding Muscle Soreness
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) usually occurs when there has been an increase in intensity or duration of exercise, leading to microscopic tears in muscle fibers.
This type of soreness typically sets in 12-24 hours after a hard workout and may last up to 72 hours — making it difficult to exercise during that time. It is important to note that DOMS is not the same as acute pain, which can be caused by an injury such as a muscle strain or sprain.
Tips for Nurturing Your Muscles
Fortunately, there are ways to manage and reduce the severity of muscle soreness. Here are some tips you can follow:
1. Take rest days
Don’t be afraid to take breaks from intense physical activity. Doing so gives your body a chance to recover and repair itself after an intense workout session, preventing further damage to your muscles that may lead to long-term injuries or chronic muscle pain.
2. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration helps support your body’s ability to regulate its temperature, lubricate your joints and maintain muscle elasticity. So make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after workouts to keep your muscles healthy.
3. Use the right supplements
Supplements like fish oil, cbd oil, whey protein, and creatine can help reduce inflammation and aid in muscle recovery. However, it is essential to consult a doctor or nutritionist before taking any supplements as they may interact with certain medications or health conditions.
4. Consider massage therapy
Massage therapy helps improve circulation throughout the body while allowing for greater flexibility in sore muscles from working out. If you don’t have access to a masseuse, foam rolling and self-massage can still help to reduce muscle tension.
5. Stretch regularly
Stretching is one of the most important things you can do for your body, as it helps loosen tight muscles and prevent future injury. Try to incorporate dynamic stretching into your warm-up routine before workouts as well as static stretching after workouts to keep your muscles limber.
6. Don’t forget to cool down
Cool-downs are just as important as warm-ups and should always be a part of your workout routine. Cooling down helps reduce lactic acid buildup in the muscles, making it easier for them to recover from an intense workout session.
Taking care of your aching muscles while on the fitness track is essential for having a successful journey. With proper rest, hydration, supplementation, massage therapy, and stretching techniques, you can ensure that you exercise safely — without overexerting yourself or causing further damage to your muscles. Keep these tips in mind, and you will be able to stay on the path of optimal health and fitness!
KT is a digital nomad who quit her job, bought a ticket somewhere, got a tan, fell in love with mother nature and she would never return to the normal life that society dictates. You can also connect with her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @pinaynomad