I hope your answer to this question is, “AWESOME!” While that may be true in the short-term, the day after a tough workout can often be pretty painful – muscle soreness anyone? Sore, achy muscles are a natural part of getting stronger, leaner and fitter. When we life heavy weights or take on a new workout regimen, we get micro tears in our muscles. Now don’t worry, these tears are actually beneficial because they force our muscles to rebuild, which burns a lot of calories and increases lean muscles mass. On the downside, we also feel the aches and pains – not so fun.
The good news is that you can effectively prevent and manage muscles soreness so that you don’t find yourself on the sidelines. Here are some of my “tried and true” tips for keeping the pain at bay:
- Keep Moving – Contrary to popular belief, the worse thing you can do is be still. When we stop moving altogether, our muscles build up lactic acid and get stiff. Even though you may feel sore after a booty-kickin’ workout, try to do some light cardio the next day to keep blood flowing and prevent stiffness.
- Eat Bananas – Bananas are full of potassium which prevents muscle soreness and cramping. Eating 1 banana post-workout will help prevent aches and pains.
- Stretch – When muscles are repairing, they contract. Make sure to stretch and lengthen your muscles often. Fitness experts recommend at least 2 days per week of stretching. Remember to do dynamic stretching (stretching while moving/light stretching) before your workouts and static stretching (stretching while being still/deep stretching) ONLY after your workout. You should NEVER do static/deep stretching before a workout because your muscles are not warmed up and you’re likely over-strain your tendons or pull a muscle.
- Stay Hydrated – Sufficient hydration is the magic answer to almost all body issues. Your body needs a lot of water to refuel after a tough workout so make sure your are giving it an adequate supply. Muscle pain is often a result of dehydration.
- Ice & Ibuprofen – As a former college basketball player, Ice & Ibuprofen was my ultimate remedy after tough games. If you experience inflammation after working out, place an ice pack the swollen area and take some Ibuprofen. Remember, swelling is often a sign of overexertion or injury, so you may want to take it easier next time or consult with your physician if you experience continuous swelling.
Hope this tips are helpful. Now go get your workout on! Lots of Luv, Brit