How often have you felt great after finishing a solid workout, only to find yourself with a stiff neck or sore muscles the next day? Like most people, you’re probably on a tight schedule and don’t have time for down days due to soreness and pain after a workout. While it’s always advisable to build in an extra 10-15 minutes to properly warm up and stretch pre- and post-workout, here are a few tips that will help you recover with less soreness overall:
1. Make sure you get at least 8-10 hours a night of sleep. Sleep is critical for overall recovery from a medium to difficult level workout. Every minute of sleep before midnight is worth two minutes of sleep after midnight. If you have trouble falling a sleep , especially if you plan your workouts in the evenings, you may want to try an all-natural supplement to help you sleep while continuing to burn fat!
2. Self-massage is an important part of every workout recovery routine. Using tools like tennis balls or foam rollers help relieve muscle tightness and inflammation that may develop from your workout. This type of self-myofascial release (SMR) may also provide additional benefits such as increased flexibility and range of motion, reduced fibromyalgia symptoms, and , in some cases, may help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
3.Hydrotherapy is another way to reduce post workout aches and pains. Turn the shower as cold as you can take it for 30 seconds, then back to hot to alleviate soreness. Water at varying temperatures provides a much-needed relief for your muscles. As your body reacts to hot and cold stimuli, your muscles will contract and relax, and you will feel more soothed by the warmer water . Hydrotherapy also helps to mobilize stiff joints for older adults with arthritic complications. Cryotherapy is another, more intense form of hydrotherapy, but is most impactful 24-72 hours after injury. Of course , there’s always the obligatory ice bath after a long race or really brutal workout.
4. Eat and drink for muscle recovery. Before hitting the gym, make sure you drink plenty of water and get a protein-filled snack. A diet rich in omega fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and vitamins goes a long way in helping to repair muscles and restore energy . Be choosy about bottled water. Although water enhanced with electrolytes was almost unheard of a few years ago, it’s become a very popular option for those who hit the gym regularly.
5. Use supplements to fight muscle inflammation and improve joint mobility. Turmeric, which is derived from a flowering plant of the ginger family, can also help prevent any post workout muscle inflammation , especially if you have an arthritic condition or autoimmune disease.
Getting the advice from your doctor or speaking with personal trainer or nutritional coach is always a good idea before starting any workout routine. They can advise you on guidelines tailored more for your personal needs and help determine the best options to help ease any post-workout soreness.