If you’re suffering from post-workout pain and don’t know how to get rid of it, here are a few tips that might be able to help you find relief.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Relieve Post-Workout Pain
Step 1: Apply a Hot or Cold Compress
Whether you’ll use a hot or cold compress depends. A cold compress can reduce inflammation, and the reduction of swelling can also aid in lessening post-workout pain. A hot compress helps minimize pain signals and tension, leading to some pain reduction. You may apply either of these treatments several times a day until you feel some improvement.
Step 2: Stay Hydrated
Research shows that dehydration can increase muscle soreness and post-workout pain, which is why you need to keep drinking water. Water primarily flushes out waste from the body, and when muscles break down, they release toxins and waste products that are associated with muscle soreness. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, and you can opt for food alternatives that are high in water such as oranges, watermelon, cucumber, and celery.
Step 3: Do Light Stretching
Light stretching can help you increase your range of motion when you have muscle soreness and release tightness, making you feel better. Just remember to not overstretch as it can make your muscles revert to tightness because your body is resisting. Stretch until you feel slight resistance, stay in that position for 5 to 10 seconds, and then repeat as often as possible.
Step 4: Perform Light Exercise
Although your muscles already received considerable damage from your intense workout, a light exercise can help you relieve pain. It allows the proper circulation of blood flow in your entire body, letting nutrients, specifically amino acids or the “building blocks,” carried in your blood to help repair the muscle damage faster. The faster these building blocks get to your muscle tissue, the faster your post-workout recovery will be. You can simply do bodyweight exercises such as air squats, walking lunges, and glute bridges.
Step 5: Use Your Sore Muscles
It may not be a good idea to use your sore muscles when you do your daily tasks, but it’s actually the other way around. Using them won’t make the condition worse as it stretches and moves the muscles, reducing its tightness. If the most affected area is in your arms and shoulders, you can execute careful and repeated movements of your arms by raising them up as you reach something high. You can also lift things up carefully, like transferring light things from one place to another.
Step 6: Consume Enough Protein
Protein is a powerful nutrient that helps build muscle mass and maintain it. You don’t need to consume protein excessively though when you have sore muscles. It’s recommended to take 1.4 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, while for active people who are 150 lb, the recommended is 95 to 136 g daily. You can split the consumption in all your meals. The following are some sources of protein:
- soy products such as tofu
- beans and legumes
- seeds and nuts
- dairy products like milk and yogurt
- lean meat
Step 7: Increase Fatty Acid Consumption
Inflammation is the primary reason behind muscle soreness and pain. One way to reduce swelling is to consume and increase healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3, as it reduces the inflammatory response of your body. You can either take omega-3 supplements or eat omega-3-rich foods such as the following:
- canola oil
- chia seeds
Step 8: Eat Pineapple or Drink Tart Cherry Juice
Pineapples have bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory benefits that are the same as those from anti-inflammatory drugs. Women ages 19 to 30 years and men ages 19 and above should consume 2 cups of pineapple a day. One excellent post-workout drink is tart cherry juice as it has antioxidant properties that can help reduce muscle pain and inflammation in the body. Drinking this juice twice a day is recommended.
Step 9: Include Manuka Honey in Your Diet
Manuka honey has a unique flavor and is milder and thicker in texture compared to the regular honey. It has anti-inflammatory effects that can help reduce muscle swelling after a workout. The honey is also packed with carbs that are needed to refill glycogen stores for body fuel delivery and transport protein into your damaged muscles. You can mix a small amount of Manuka honey to sweeten your hot drinks each day or add this to your healthy recipes when applicable.
Step 10: Do Self-Massage
Doin self-massage when your muscles are sore is a good option to relieve post-workout pain because you can control the pressure applied. This allows your muscles to relax and stretch to relieve tension. You can focus on massaging the areas where the soreness is really strong and then, extend your massage to other areas of your body. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
Step 11: Get Good Rest
Although it’s still advisable to do some light movements if you’re experiencing muscle pain and soreness, taking a good rest should also be another priority. Nothing is better than sleeping when your body tells you to and relaxing after you perform light exercises and stretches. Simply lying in bed or sitting on the couch can put your body at ease.
Step 12: Take Anti-inflammatory Medications
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin can help reduce muscle swelling, which can also lessen the pain as the inflammation goes away. Although these drugs are easily available, it’s still best to consult your doctor first before taking them for proper medical guidance, especially when pain and soreness get worse over time.
Here is a quick video on how to relieve workout soreness from Athlean-XX for Women:
Following this step-by-step guide will help you recover faster from your post-workout pain and muscle soreness. Try applying these awesome post-workout tips whenever you feel pain after an intense workout. They will help you get rid of unnecessary aches and inflammation.
What other tips to relieve post-workout pain can you add to the guide above? Share them in the comments section.