You went for a workout at your local Ribble Valley gym the other day, but now your muscles are sore and you’re tired.
This is normal. It’s called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS, for short) and it occurs around 48 hours after you’ve worked your muscles hard. Sometimes, you’ll feel it quite strongly (and experience the unusual sense of some pain) if you haven’t worked out in a while.
The reason your muscles hurt is because they have microscopic tears that are being repaired by your body.
But, this is good thing: it shows just how much you pushed yourself during your workout, which is super important.
Here’s some tips to reduce soreness
Stretch it out
Your muscles are repairing themselves and may actually be a little tight. Stretching them can relieve some of the discomfort you feel and help release some of the pain.
If you find that you have tight muscles a lot of the time after your workouts then ask one of the Shapes Gym team to show you a stretching routine. Most times stretching after working out is a good thing and will help you with recovery.
Take a hot bath
Soaking in the tub for a while can work wonders on your muscles (no matter where on the body they’re aching). A hot bath can help increase blood flow in your body and calm down the tightness and achiness you’re feeling.
Adding in some Epsom salts will also be beneficial, as this will help draw out any toxins you have in your body (if you’re trying to lose weight then reducing the amount of toxicity in your body is a good thing). See this video for more information.
Use a foam roller
While it’s more of a massaging technique than stretching the muscle, using a foam roller helps to massage your muscles and will aid in the body’s ability to repair them faster. Now, doing this type of tissue massage is going to be a little painful at first, but it will relieve the pain and help you feel less tightness in your muscles as you continue to roll on them.
You should aim to be on the foam roller for at least 10 minutes.
And, while this isn’t the same as a deep tissue massage, it is going to help you feel some relief.
Can I workout if my muscles hurt?
You can, but you should think about how. Let’s say that a few days ago you did a legs session and you’re still sore (even if you’re having hot baths and using a foam roller the day after).
It’ll be fine to workout today, but just keep in mind you don’t want to do any exercises that will engage (use) the muscles that are currently hurting.
You’ll find that you probably won’t want to train those muscles either.
So, if your leg muscles hurt then doing an arm or shoulder workout routine would be advantageous.
Don’t use this as an excuse to stay away from exercise though.
Even just going outside for a walk or jumping on the rower at the gym will help you to keep active. Because, if you condition your body to not partake in any exercise once you’ve got DOMS then you might get into the habit of never doing any exercise when you’ve got a little bit of pain.
And that is a bad habit to get into.
Drink more water
You’ll hear us say this quite a lot: drink more water. And it’s hugely important. Our bodies are made predominantly of water and your body requires it for a whole host of different tasks, including helping to repair muscles and get rid of toxins from the body.
Drinking more water (or at least to around your advised daily amount) will help your body with transporting relevant nutrients around your body and making the necessary repairs so that you can recover quicker and move forward with your health and fitness.
Want some help?
If you’re interested in talking more about how we can help you with your health, fitness and body shape then head over to our gym membership page.