How to Relieve Sore Muscles

Foam roller on sore muscles

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Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey or you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic, your sweat session can result in sore muscles (along with the endless list of health benefits!). This can make completing your regular tasks, such as washing your hair, going down the stairs or even lowering yourself onto the toilet a much more painful experience! We’ve been there, and been on the receiving end of many good natured laughs with the ridiculous walk, aka slow waddle, and slide down the stairs. Sore muscles are no joke, however we look at it as an accomplishment for the hard work devoted to achieving our health and fitness goals. Since we don’t like to skip our sweat sessions, we are diving into all things muscle soreness as it relates to working out. Below, we answer common questions about sore muscles and what you can do for them after working out. 

Why am I so sore after working out?

It was previously thought that lactic acid buildup in the muscles during a workout is what causes the muscle soreness that follows. However, this is actually incorrect. The ‘burn’ that we feel during exercise is actually caused by circulating hydrogen ions that are a metabolic byproduct. The soreness we feel in the subsequent days is due to inflammation and the tiny microtears in the muscles that result from intense exercise.

What to do for Muscle Soreness?

There are a number of strategies that can support a speedy recovery from soreness.

The following foods and supplements are helpful for reducing inflammation as well as supporting tissue healing and repair. To purchase, simply click the link and create a login for your secure account.

Note: always consult with your healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen.

What stretches are good for sore muscles after workout?

This all depends on where you’re sore! For example, stretches for sore quads will be different from stretches for sore hamstrings. Before stretching the muscle groups where you’re experiencing soreness, do a gentle warmup or go for a walk to get blood flow to those tissues. Then, gently ease into stretches that target the specific muscles that are sore. Don’t push it! Ease into the stretches and stop when you reach a point of discomfort that’s bearable – pushing past that will only increase discomfort, so the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ does NOT apply in this situation!

How long does muscle soreness last?

This depends on a few factors. 1) How much microtrauma occurred during the workout. Mild microtrauma and soreness obviously will require less time to resolve than more extensive microtears and more intense soreness.  2) Your body’s unique healing capacity. If you tend to heal slow after injury, it may take more time for your soreness to resolve. 3) The body’s total inflammatory load. When the body has multiple inflammatory processes it’s dealing with, in addition to the muscle soreness (like fighting an infection, battling an autoimmune condition, or suffering from intense emotional stress) it will take more time to heal and recover.

Based on these factors, soreness usually lasts 2 to 5 days.

What to eat to reduce muscle soreness after workout?

Focus on antiinflammatory foods and protein rich foods. Foods like animal protein, fish, vegetables, fruits, and spices (like ginger and turmeric) support the body in reducing inflammation and also provide the protein, vitamins and minerals necessary for repair and healing.

Can I workout with sore muscles?

Yes, in fact movement will help the soreness resolve faster! That said, don’t push it. Gentle movement is best while recovering from muscle soreness. If you’re lifting weights, focus on exercises that target the muscles that aren’t sore.

Let us know your favorite ways to relieve sore muscles after a good sweat sesh! #glowgetters

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