When you exercise, you push yourself. Push yourself to go harder, push yourself to go further, do that extra mile, lift those extra pounds, or lose that extra inch. But when you go hard to light the fire you feel the burn.
That burn is a good thing. It means muscles are rebuilding, which means they’re growing. Even a few days after the workout you can still feel the burn. A short walk can be daunting. A staircase can look scary. Even playing with the kids or mustering the energy to go out for dinner can seem too much.
Quell The Burn
When your muscles are sore it’s a love-hate situation: you know that soreness means they’re getting stronger but you hate to have to deal with the achiness, the pains, and the inability to live life. Well, my friend, fret no more.
If your muscles are screaming at you, quiet them with one of these 5 methods to relieve your sore muscles. And because I like you, I’ll throw in a bonus recipe that will feed your muscles in their time of need.
Quiet The Scream
A Nice Massage
Nobody needs an excuse to get a massage. Tired muscles, however, is a great excuse. If you’re by yourself you can use a foam roller to make it easier, or if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is a sports masseuse you can go see them.
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Massaging increases blood flow to the muscles which speeds up recovery. Oxygen-rich blood feeds your muscles, and it’s even better when you’ve got some protein too. The massage also relieves tightness, so if you just did arms and shoulders you may even be able to lift your arms high enough to scratch your noggin.
Post-workout protein has been proven to lessen muscle soreness. Your best bet is a liquid form because it will reach the muscles as quickly as possible. Whey protein is the ideal form of protein after your workout.
Make sure you find a whey powder that has no artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. Most are 95 calories per serving, and can be found at most nutrition food stores. Chicken is also a great source of low-fat protein, as are legumes, lentils, or chickpeas.
You’re saying, “No! I need to rest.” But a bit of light cross-training or cardio can be what your body needs (and wants) to loosen up and feel less sore. Working out gets your blood flowing so, while not as relaxing as a massage, a post-exercise exercise may be in order for muscle-recovery.
Get your heart rate up and you’ll have your muscles feeling better again. Warming up is super-necessary. I also don’t recommend working-out then working-out to calm the burn of working-out, but you can give it a shot. Remember to take it easy because your muscles are already in rebuild mode.
Antioxidants reduce inflammation. Cherries are full of antioxidants. Tart cherry juice or any cherries in a post-workout smoothie is a great way to replenish your body when it feels sore post-workout.
Draw a bath and close the book on sore muscles. Add a scoop of Epsom salts to your bath to really relieve your muscles. The nutrient in Epsom salt are absorbed through your skin and are known for reducing inflammation. Epsom salts even regulate your electrolytes, which means your muscles will be healthy and happy in recovering more quickly.
Quench Your Thirst
The bonus-smoothie-recipe you’ve been waiting for!
8oz coconut water
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup cherries
1 cup spinach
1 cup ice cubes
Blend ingredients until smooth. Enjoy – your muscles will.
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