The wonderful feeling of a post-workout pump is short-lived and followed by that all-too-familiar feeling of tight and sore muscles. Though sore muscles may be a sign of you taking positive steps toward better health, they leave you looking like you’re in a dire state hobbling around and struggling to get up from chairs. What’s more, sore muscles can hamper your next workout and throw your schedule off. There are some things you can do to speed up the recovery of your sore muscles. Try these tips to resuscitate sore muscles quicker and get you back on track.
When you exercise it causes your muscle cells to contract and become shorter. This is what leads to tight muscles that then have a limited movement. Stretching your muscles after a workout and every day helps to combat this and can also improve your flexibility. It also helps to get the blood flowing to your muscles which gives them the nutrients they need to recuperate. Pay attention to which group of muscles are sore and do stretches specific to those. For example, the hamstrings which are muscles at the back of your legs, are best stretched by forward type stretches while the front muscles of the legs are best dealt with in backward type stretches.
Take a hot bath
There is a bit of debate as to whether it is better to take a hot bath or cold bath to relieve muscle pain. Each of these has their own advantages but hot baths tend to get more blood flow into the muscles from the deep layers to the surface layers. It’s also a general principle that heat helps things to expand which is important for soothing muscle pain. You can add Epsom salts to your bath for more effectiveness.
Give them a rub
Deeply massaging your muscles stretches them out in various directions and also helps to improve blood flow locally. Massaging the muscles might be painful at first, but doing this often helps to prevent chronically tight muscles.
Try these foods
Certain foods contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which is known to increase blood flow in the body. According to the same principles of stretching your muscles and taking a hot bath, having high amounts of L-arginine can improve the recovery time of sore muscles. Foods which are high in L-arginine include red meats, peanuts, and soybeans.
Dehydrated muscles remain tight and painful for longer. Make sure to get enough water into your body after a strenuous workout so that your muscles can recuperate more quickly. Rehydrating is also important for improving all organ functions after a workout. Don’t neglect your electrolytes either as they are very important in relaxing muscle tissue.
Take some magnesium
Magnesium is one of the important electrolytes needed for relaxing muscles. If you do not have enough magnesium you may tend to cramp up very easily. Green vegetables and bananas are quite high in magnesium, but you can also find supplements which give you the right daily amount.
Reflexology is an Ancient Eastern alternative medicine that uses the ideas of zones of the body being represented on the hands and feet. Certain techniques and massages can be applied to the hands and feet to provide relief through nerve and median connections. These zones are much easier to reach than the muscles themselves and can provide a good supportive method of maintaining muscle health.