Following a rigorous workout, the feeling of sore, fiercely used muscles presents a pretty great sense of accomplishment. There’s really no better way to own that feeling than slipping into bed for a well deserved, regenerative sleep. A serious workout, such as HITT, leaves your muscles aching and raw, a feeling that stays with you all day. The pain can often be so bad that training on subsequent days is simply out of the question. Even if you take the proper steps prior to and after a workout, you can still suffer from intense muscle pain. Maybe hindsight is 20/ 20 but that doesn’t help now. So, what can you do?
List of Sore Muscle Remedies
Your muscles can experience soreness simply from using them normally and not in any intense way. When achy, tired muscles become a nag, combat the pain with some exercise. Starting out, muscles might feel extra-achy, like they don’t want to go on. Weary muscles will often resist a workout at first but once you get into it, they usually loosen up and the ache disappears after a few minutes of brisk movement. Keep in mind that if muscles are sore from an intense bout of prior exercise, you should really go easy on them or you can easily pull or strain one or more muscles with inaccurate movements.
2. A Hot Soak
Taking the time to soak your tired or overused muscles in an extremely warm bath for 30-40 minutes accomplishes wonders for loosening up and relaxing the mind and body completely, creating an overall sync. While your muscles are stagnant and relaxed in the hot bath, the heat has the chance to offer some deep therapy. After a full soak, and perhaps even some gentle stretching while in the tub, getting out will feel so much easier then getting in.
3. Ice the Pain
Swelling is one of the key reasons muscles throw off intense pain and discomfort. Swelling is a renowned part of the muscle repair process, which can be undermined if you hit the gym again too hard and don’t allow for some recovery time. Icing the muscle, or muscles, can be the key to bringing down the swelling and relieving the relentless burn. This technique can accelerate muscle recovery and manage discomfort, simultaneously making the next day more manageable whether you’re working or working out.
4. Heat the Ache
Where ice packs or baths combat inflammation and swelling, heat works to alleviate the pain directly. Over-the-counter heat rubs (like Tiger Balm and Deep Rub) offer relief through penetrating warmth, getting the blood moving to your overworked muscles. This helps to make them more limber and loose. Rubs can pump oxygen into tissues and dilate blood vessels, relaxing an overtaxed body.
5. Work Through the Pain
The well-known term “hair of the dog” is most often used in reference to hangovers but it also perfectly describes how a moderate workout can aid in recovery after intense exercise. Don’t jump back into anything intense. Take an easy and slow approach, indulging your muscles in some deep recovery with a relaxing yoga workout (where the stretching can also help immensely with the pain) or other light exercise that gets your blood moving at an easy speed and intensity.
6. Repair with Massage
A soothing massage can be just what the doctor ordered for sore muscles. A.R.T., or Active Release Technique, is a massage treatment you can use to treat tired, stiff muscles and loosen them up by working on individual tissues and in between them too. Stretching during a massage can also do wonders. Forget deep-tissue massages and focus on a gentle rub instead. This can ease inflammation and relax tight muscles.
7. Embrace Your Mate
Curling up for a cuddle with your mate releases the “feel- good hormone,” also known as oxytocin, into the brain. Oxytocin aids in muscle repair, stabilizing blood sugar levels, decreasing discomfort, and ultimately repairing sore bodies. Cuddling can increase serotonin levels, release endorphins, and pump up energy via the body’s reserved fat which helps with muscle repair.
If these sore muscle remedies didn’t get the job done, there is a chance that the pain is due to injuries. Keep in mind that muscle pains from exercising usually don’t last longer than a week. So, if the pain just won’t go away, seek a doctor.