Do you frequently workout? Do you enjoy lifting weights? Bench pressing? Squatting? Then you probably have (what am I talking about, you certainly have) experienced the soreness that comes with lifting. That sore feeling you experience from lifting weights—what is it?.
Do you know what that soreness is? Is it that pump that everyone is always talking about? In this blog post, we will discuss what soreness is and how to relieve muscle soreness from working out.
What is Muscle Soreness?
The slowly increasing discomfort and soreness that you feel after working out (usually experienced between 24 to 48 hours after a workout) is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This kind of soreness is totally normal and nothing for you to be concerned about. This sort of soreness occurs due to doing eccentric or lengthening contractions; usually, this comes from running downhill or performing an exercise such as a curl.
When you work out, small tears in the muscles occur. These tears quickly become inflamed which is why you feel pain after working out. These tears, over the course of the few days of recovery, heal and form more powerful muscles. That’s how you gain strong muscles.
Everyone experiences this form of soreness. It is minor at best; at worst, it means you have to take 2 to 3 days off at the gym. But some, especially those who just started working out, may find this pain intimidating and may not show up at the gym again. Don’t let this minor ache and pain get in your way of working out. Even the strongest athletes experience this soreness. It’s not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is literally a sign of strength—and a sign of building strength too!
How to Relieve Muscle Soreness from Working Out
Just like there are a million ways you can work out, there are a million ways you can relieve muscle soreness from working out. One thing to always focus on (and we mean always!) is the RICE method (primarily used to relieve extreme muscle soreness). This, across the board, will help you relieve your sore muscles fast, so you can workout stronger after your last session.
RICE is an acronym. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Rest: Rest is one of the most important things you can do to relieve muscle soreness (and an injury).
- Ice: Make sure you apply ice to the area for about 30 minutes to reduce swelling.
- Compression: Compression also helps reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Raise the afflicted area to reduce more inflammation.
Again, this method is used usually for more intense pain. However, it can help with recovery after a workout too.
Here are some of the best ways to relieve muscle soreness!
Believe it or not, warming up before a workout can help you decrease the intensity of muscle soreness. Warming up essentially wakes up your muscles, allowing increased blood flow to reach them. Warming up exercises can be light jogging, walking, biking, or jumping rope. You can even do a less strenuous version of your workout… say, bench press the bar for a few reps before you work your chest out.
Proper technique is essential to ensure you are not only going to recover with less soreness but actually not injure yourself. If you do not use the proper technique, you will feel more sore, and you will likely (almost probably) injure yourself. The best way to ensure you are working out properly is to either hire a personal trainer or workout with a friend who is more knowledgeable about working than you. Basically, find a great gym buddy. It helps!
After working out, perform a cool down to help make you relieve soreness then and there. You will still experience soreness but it won’t be as intense. What is a cool down? A cool down is essentially a light stretch after your workout. It’s important to remember that when your muscles are warm, it’s easier for them to stretch and relax. That’s why a cool down is so helpful. It will also enhance circulation which will help with recovery.
Push Yourself, But Not Too Much
You might be tempted to push yourself too much but don’t do it. Sure, pushing yourself is good. You should strive for that extra rep, but at the same time, you need to know your boundaries. There’s a thin line between stepping on the line and going past it. Going past the line is where injuries occur.
Limited Rest Time
After working out, wait at least 48 hours before working out again. However, don’t rest completely. Instead, focus on active recovery. What is active recovery? It’s a form of recovery where you do light exercises to enhance your recovery. This means on your off day you go for a walk, jog, or jump some rope. Do some light workouts that help trigger your muscles you worked out but don’t do too much. Just remind your muscles that they’re there.
Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness. Stretching will help loosen your muscles, and improve circulation. It can even help reduce the build-up of lactic acid—one cause of sore muscles.
Staying hydrated is essential. Water is the building block of life. Why do you think they are always looking for water on planets? It’s essential for life (and your life) to function properly. So instead of chugging that energy drink, it’s time for you to drink plenty (and I mean plenty) of water. This will help you push yourself during your workout and recover faster. If you experience fatigue, dizziness, or cramps, you likely are dehydrated, so make sure you drink plenty of water.
Get Some Rest
Rest is an essential part of recovery. In order to recover, you need to rest your muscles. This will help your body naturally relieve soreness. Over time, our body repairs itself. Sleeping will help your body do just that. Sleep allows our sore muscles to recover by releasing particular hormones.
Making sure you eat a diet high in protein and low in bad carbohydrates will help your body naturally recover. You want to make sure that when you do eat carbs, they are complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole wheat.
Use HealthyLine’s Inframat Pro
There are many products that are designed to help advance recovery efforts after a gym session. From advanced gemstone heat therapy devices to infrared saunas, there are a lot of ways you can improve your health and wellness. A product that could help you recover faster is a heat therapy mat that uses far-infrared and pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. PEMF therapy uses the same frequency as the earth’s magnetic field to help naturally recharge blood cells.
HealthyLine offers an amazing selection of heat therapy devices that can help you relieve soreness. Use it after every workout to enhance your recovery and get back to the gym faster than ever. PEMF and far infrared will enhance blood circulation which will decrease inflammation in the afflicted area and speed up the recovery process.
Things to Remember
As I said, sore muscles happen. They are not usually something you should be concerned about. However, persistent fatigue or muscle soreness can be the result of an injury incurred during your workout session. If you experience pain for more than 3 days, it’s likely due to an injury to the muscles, joints, or tendons. Any pain close to the joint may potentially be a sprain.
If you think you have injured yourself, attempt to do the RICE method as stressed above.
You will need to contact your doctor or seek care from a professional if:
- If soreness lasts longer than 7 days
- The pain you experience gets worse
- Your pain gets worse when you exercise
- The RICE method (as suggested above) does little to comfort
- You experience joint pain, bone pain, or tendon pain
- You can’t move; it’s that painful
- You have trouble breathing due to the pain
- You are dizzy due to the pain
- There is a lot of swelling in the afflicted area
Now that you know how to relieve muscle soreness from working out, you can start working out with peace of mind. You can experience the soothing benefits of less muscle soreness and faster recovery by following these methods. Not only that, you will experience more strength and build stronger muscles in the process.
Injuries? What are injuries? You can help decrease the potential of injuring yourself by following these pre-, during-, and post-workout methods.
If you’re ready to recover, now’s the time!