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9 Healthy Foods To Help Soothe Your Sore Muscles

9 Healthy Foods To Help Soothe Your Sore Muscles

Muscle soreness is not a rare thing to athletes and bodybuilders. It’s the usual effect of a heavy workout after overdoing it in the gym. Although it is simply an indication of muscles adapting to a new exercise regimen, muscle soreness can sometimes result to extreme pain that may place a major threat on muscle recovery.

Good news. Recent researches on bioactive food components that help alleviate muscle pain and enhance exercise performance is growing popularity for the past years. Different kinds of bioactive food components showed promising anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting attributes that help speed up muscle recovery.

Check out these nine healthy foods to help soothe your sore muscles.

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1. Quinoa

Not all protein is found in meat. Quinoa, considered by ancient Incas as mother of all grains is high in protein, fiber and many essential amino acids needed by our muscles to grow. Amino acids in food make up protein, these proteins turn to solid matters that are distributed to different parts of our body including our muscles.

2. Salmon

This protein and omega-3 rich edible fish is known to reduce many kinds of body pain including neck, back and nerve pains. Calcitonin, a protein found in salmon is also found to be a great cure for osteoarthritis and many kinds of inflammatory joint conditions.

3. Coffee

What a great relief for coffee addicts! As it turns out, caffeine in coffee can reduce pain from exercise-induced injury. A study found that a cup of coffee can kill pain brought by exercise. And the results are consistent even if the person is already a coffee drinker or not.  Basically, caffeine works alongside the part of the brain involved in the processing of pain. Caffeine then blocks biochemicals that trigger pain during exercise.

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4. Ginger

Get pumped with ginger! A great treat for your sore muscles, ginger helps soothe and alleviate muscle pain. Ginger contains gingerols, an anti-inflammatory compound that helps reduce the aches of osteoarthritis and sore aches. Have a ginger cocktail every before and after your workout and see your muscle pains reduce in a week’s time.

5. Pomegranate

Experience the healing powers of pomegranates. Pomegranates have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that act as natural anti-inflammatory medicinal foods that help in reducing exercise- induced muscle damages. Among its effects are better oxygen efficiency, enhanced blood flow, power production and performance benefits for anyone who trains regularly.

6. Blueberries

Many kinds of phytochemicals found in plants can help us reduce muscle damage after a tough workout. Blueberries, for example contain phytochemicals such as anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and ellagic acid that help in reducing muscle soreness. Aside from phytochemicals, blueberries contain antioxidants that help protect against many chronic diseases.

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7. Chocolate Milk Shake

Every training your body excretes energy, water, nutrients and sugar! To keep your sugar levels on normal degree, have a yummy chocolate drink after every meal. It’s a great protein-rich drink that can help you replenish your lost sugars and rebuild muscles.

8. Almonds

Another plant-based food filled with protein, Almond is an excellent food for rebuilding muscles and reducing soreness. Almonds are also great source of heart healthy fats and magnesium. Magnesium offers a great boost in your energy and helps level your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

9. Cottage Cheese

One of the top body building foods, cottage cheese is a low-fat snack with only 80 calories. Made by draining whey or curdling milk, cottage cheese is part of unprocessed kinds of raw cheese. Cottage cheese is great source of dietary fats for those who are exercising with a goal to lose weight and gain muscles.

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Are you ready to eat your way to sore muscle recovery?

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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