When you exercise hard and break down your body, chances are you’ll feel it the next day.
Whether it is a heavy lifting session, a hard, long run, or a track workout.
In many cases, feeling sore, and struggling to get up the stairs the day after is to be expected.
But there are many things you can do to decrease the degree of soreness you experience, as well as to improve your performance and feeling in the days following.
Try out these ideas to help you out.
Take Hot and Cold Showers
You may have heard of cold showers (and immediately dismissed the idea!), but the good news is, that you can get strong benefits from alternating hot and cold showers as well. The premise behind cold showers is that they help activate your lymphatic system, the natural detoxifying system within your body. Alternating temperature will allow a similar action. By helping your body do this, you are encouraging the activity and movement of compounds that may be contributing to inflammation within your system, as well as promoting enhanced recovery.
Drink More Water
Water is the answer! Fixing broken down muscles requires water to help rehydrate the muscle and provide the necessary hydration to the other cellular and immune components of the body that function in muscle recovery. Water is also important because since the breakdown happened via exercise, you likely would have sweated out water at that time as well, making it extra important to replenish all the water and electrolytes that were lost.
Engage in Low Impact Activity
While you may feel like you just want to sit and do nothing while you wait for your muscles to recover, the truth is it’s not the best answer. Instead, engaging in low impact activity that encourages movement and blood flow is a better solution. Your muscles are only going to get better if you are able to send blood to them which has healing nutrients and energy like the body needs. Staying sedentary does not allow this blood flow and prolongs the time required for recovery.
Practice Myofascial Release
You may have heard it described as foam rolling, but there are several ways you can execute myofascial release, and it is critical in helping reduce soreness and allowing you to continue to perform. The fascia is the dense tissue that surrounds all of your muscles and which can become tight and prone to damage. Using a foam roller or tennis ball to help release this tissue is a critical part of making sure your muscles are read y to perform in the days following.
While muscle soreness is to be expected after a workout, making sure you are able to recover and continue to perform is top of mind when it comes to reducing the impact. Use these helpful tips to get you back in the gym or into your running shoes as soon as possible.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH