* If you’re not sore after a workout, then you didn’t go hard enough
* Muscle and joint soreness happens to bodies of all ages
* Recover faster with these tips and get back to the gym
When you first start a training routine you’ll be sore for the first week or two. So sore that sometimes you won’t want to go back to the gym. Who can do a squat when they had trouble putting their own socks on that very morning? Soreness is your body’s way of saying it needs to recover. All ages and body types get sore from time to time, no matter how in shape you are. Recovering from this soreness is the key to getting back into the gym and continuing to make progress toward your fitness goals.
Some of the best ways to recover from a hard workout and relieve the muscle fatigue and soreness have been in plain sight all along. Others come in the form of balms and ointments. Follow our tips for a total recovery so that you can get back to the gym and do it all again.
1. Ice Bath
Athletes have long been jumping into freezing tubs of ice water after a hard day of training or a game. The thinking behind this is that the icy cold water will reduce muscle inflammation and delay the soreness process by slowing all metabolic and physiological functions. Ice baths also push lactic acid out of the muscle which just means you’ll be less sore later.
It’s important to do this just after your workout though. You must get your body into the cold water before your muscles rest too long. The longer you wait, the more time lactic acid has to creep into your muscles. Try to get the water around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and stay submerged from the chest down for 12-15 minutes. I know. Sounds terrible, but I swear it works.
2. Hemp Ointment
One of the most consistently reliable products I’ve used for pain relief in my muscles is hemp-based ointments. The hemp helps take down inflammation and prevent stiffness. It’s only a temporary relief, but sometimes that’s all you need in the morning to get your day started. I recommend this rub on Hemp Salve by Rosita. Apply a small amount to sore areas 3-4 times per day.
3. OJ Pre-workout
Orange juice isn’t just a great breakfast beverage. It’s also something you should consider adding to your pre-workout routine. Studies have shown that citrus has a profound effect on flushing the muscle of lactic acid. Who would have thought OJ could be a recovery drink? But don’t let that fool you. Just because you’re taking it for the purpose of recovering from your muscle soreness does not mean you should drink it after a workout. It contains so many sugars that it’s not something you want to have sitting in your gut in the hours before bed. Drink a glass before your workout so that you can use the sugar for energy immediately, yet still receive the muscle recovery benefit from the citrus.
4. Heat Pad
Heat helps just as much as icy water, just in different ways. Heat will increase blood flow and help those sore muscles relax. Just as cold temperatures slow the body’s physiological response, heat will speed them up. Therefore, lactic acid is pushed out of the muscle at a faster rate. One of the best ways to apply the heat is via a heat pad and this product by Sunbeam is the perfect size to fit on or around any body surface you’ll need it for. Apply the heat until you feel your muscle is entirely relaxed.
Getting an appropriate amount of shut eye is crucial to your body’s natural healing process. Your body does most of its healing while you sleep. Studies have shown that most of the body’s natural human growth hormone secretion happens when the body is asleep. You don’t want to short change yourself with that stuff. No supplement or workout routine can replace the positive effects of a good night’s sleep. It is recommended to get between 7-9 hours for optimal muscle recovery.