One of the most demotivating things about trying to achieve your fitness goals are the sore muscles you get from exercising. You can have a terrific workout that leaves you feeling on top of the world one day and then experience the kind of pain that makes you question your whole routine the next.
While muscle soreness is an inevitable part of being active, there are ways to let sore muscles heal so you can recover faster and get back on track.
Everybody is always telling you to drink for fluids. Turns out that they’re right. Staying hydrated is a vital part of speedy muscle recovery. Water and electrolyte-rich sports drinks:
- keep fluids moving through your body
- help ease inflammation
- flush out waste products
- delivers nutrients to your muscles
At HOTSHOT we’re big fans of Swell water bottles which travel well and look great!
2. Use a Foam Roller
One of the best ways to fix sore muscles is to lean into them. Literally. Using a foam roller to target muscle soreness helps release muscle knots, relieve inflammation and make you more comfortable overall. On top of that, foam rollers can increase your range of motion and flexibility while also improving circulation.
3. Invest in a Massage Gun
It may look like a mad scientist crossed a drill with a rubber bouncy ball, but massage guns are becoming more and more popular with trainers and physical therapists. The pulsating action of the gun releases tension and fluid deep in the muscles while increasing blood flow to allow more oxygen to reach where the soreness is worst. Massage guns also stimulate atrophied muscles so they heal faster and release lactic acid build-up which is another factor of muscle soreness. Some massage gun brands even claim to improve sleep while reducing anxiety.
4. Eat Protein after an intense workout
Did you know that what you eat can affect muscle soreness and recovery following a workout? It’s true. And there are foods that help with muscle cramps as well. Foods that are high in protein ease soreness, speed up recovery and repair torn muscles. Protein supplements have even been found to increase muscle size and strength during resistance training. Seafood, skinless, white-meat poultry, lean beef, skim milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs are all excellent sources of protein. Of course, there are dozens of protein bars and supplements on the market if that’s what you prefer.
5. Get some sleep- Keep track of your sleep and fitness progress with Whoop
Study after study has shown that sleep, cognitive functions and physical fitness are all closely intertwined. A good night’s sleep allows muscles to release amino acids, which build protein, into the bloodstream. Athletes needs as much as 9-10 hours of sleep per night to help muscles recover from the extra work. If you’re having trouble getting that extra sleep, try these simple tricks:
• Get to bed earlier—your brain and your body will appreciate the extra rest
• Turn off everything—TV, phone, lights or any other distraction will prevent you from getting the deep sleep you need
• Avoid caffeine after lunch—It takes a few hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off
• Herbal tea—a cup before bed will ease you into dreamland before you know it
6. Lighter exercise the day after a tough workout
Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. If you had a tough workout on Monday, take it easy on Tuesday. Giving your body the day off lets sore muscles heal. Of course, you don’t have to totally shut it down. Go for a walk or a light jog, do some bodyweight exercises like pushups or air squats or go shoot some hoops. Maybe one of the best recovery exercises around is one of the oldest. Yoga is a terrific was to loosen up and center yourself after an intense training session the previous day. Take a class with some friends and make an afternoon of it or pull up a video online and mellow out in the privacy of your own home.
7. Avoid NSAIDs. Try HOTSHOT instead.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often recommended for treating conditions like arthritis. They include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and others. And while these drugs can be very effective in treating muscle soreness as well, they could also cause indigestion, ulcers, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.
HOTSHOT, on the other hand, is a scientifically proven, all-natural formula that helps the body produce nitric acid during exercise to promote vasodilation and blood flow without harmful side effects. Taking a HOTSHOT before your workout will improve tolerance to physical exercise and speed up recovery.
8. Stretch-before and after you workout.
The road to muscle recovery starts before you lift a single weight. Don’t forget to stretch all your muscles thoroughly before exercising. Stretching increases your range of motion by lengthening your muscles and prevents aches and pains by calming them as well. A good stretch reduces your risk of overuse injuries, improves your performance and provides relaxation and stress relief.
Don’t forget to stretch after your workout as well. That will keep your muscles loose and limber so you can avoid tightness and cramping. In fact, it’s a good idea to stretch even on days you don’t work out.
When you workout on a regular basis, you’re bound to experience muscle soreness from time to time. But, with the right preparation and treatment, it will never have to slow you down.