Free Tips & Easy "How to" Instructions
Do you have sore muscles? We have all done the same thing. With great determination, you begin to workout. With great energy, you use muscles that you haven't used in years, and the next day, you have sore muscles...really achy, sore muscles. If you are like most people you wish you hadn't pushed so hard and are questioning whether or not to EVER exercise again! Before you give up hope, consider these tips that will help you to relieve your aching muscles.
Not that you would be willing to subject yourself to the excruciating pain of another strenuous workout, but just in case, you should know that avoiding vigorous exercise is a good idea. This is not to say, however, that you should lie in bed all day.
Talk a short walk, for about 20 minutes or so, and stretch. This will increase your circulation and help the flow of blood and oxygen to your sore muscles, which will help them recover. Stretching will also reduce the lactic acid in your system. Lactic acid can add to your pain, so make sure you give your sore muscles an easy and gentle stretch after you warm up and take a walk.
You can do this yourself, or have someone else massage you. It is not necessary to schedule a professional massage with a masseuse. Your significant other or a friend can help you with this. Either way, a massage will reduce your muscle spasms and ease the pain.
Hold an ice pack to you sore muscles for around 15 minutes. After this, apply heat to your muscles. Heat can be applied with a heating pad or a hot shower. Repeat these steps alternating between cold and hot treatment for up to 20 minutes each. Simply using cold alone or heat alone is not as effective as using both.
While taking a hot shower, gently and carefully stretch your muscles. Be careful not to over stretch, as you can strain your muscles further and cause worse pain. Relax as you stretch, and take deep breaths.
You can also take a hot bubble bath. A whirlpool bath, bubble bath, or a bath with a bit of baking soda can be refreshing for your muscles. Relax, and stretch gently during your bath. Your sore muscles will thank you.
Another water, or rather a stream option, is the sauna.
It is also quite all right to take an over-the-counter medicine. An anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen can help relieve the pain of your sore muscles.
Stretching is most effective once your muscles are warmed up. Before you begin an intense workout, whether it is weight training or cardiovascular, warm up and stretch. Once you have completed your workout, cool down and stretch once again. Improving your flexibility and circulation in this way will help reduce or prevent sore muscles.
In general, you should avoid stretching or exercising too aggressively. If you exercise more than you are ready for, you can injure yourself beyond just some achy muscles. It is also possible to over-stretch your muscles, which can also cause injury.
If you are unsure how to stretch certain muscles properly, consult a book or stretching, or a fitness professional at your local health club.
Sometimes, if you fail to stretch your muscles, they will become stiff. In order to relieve the stiffness, massage the area. If you find that your muscles still hurt, continue the massage.
Drink water. Drink even more water. Depending on your weight and activity level, you should drink 32-64 ounces of water every day. Hydration is an important part of circulation, which in turn adds comfort to your muscles.
Make sure you eat plenty of protein. Protein is an essential building block in creating muscle tone in your body. Normally, 20%-30% of your diet should consist of lean protein sources. Depending on your body mass, you may need more or less protein. The more muscles you have, the more protein you will need to make sure that your muscles are able to rebuild themselves. You will recover from muscle soreness at a much faster rate with the appropriate amount of protein in your diet.
Be sure that you do not confuse normal muscle soreness with injury. Muscle or joint pain is different from muscle soreness. If you follow the above tips and the pain does not go away within a few days, you may have an injury. If that is the case, you should consult a physician.
Don't let sore muscles discourage you from maintaining an active lifestyle and regular exercise routine. Once your muscles begin to develop, you won't feel as sore. Remember these tips and you will be exercising at full capacity again in no time.
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