It is common for anyone active to experience sore muscles at some point. You may feel more apprehensive when trying a new workout, working out for a more extended period, or increasing your activity level.
Kyle Gonzalez, a performance coach, said, “Muscle soreness is caused by micro-tears and inflammation in the muscle and is a response to physical stress from exercise. Soreness is a natural process, but it can be debilitating and lead to injury without the right guidance.”
Here are some tips to help relieve muscle soreness and speed up recovery.
Soreness can last 24 hours or for a few days. You can still exercise while you recover. A good walk is a better active recovery than HIIT classes. Gonzalez said, “Active recovery or light activity can reduce soreness, increase blood flow, remove chemical waste from your body, and help you adapt to training.”
Sleep is the most crucial time for recovery and repair. Gonzalez said, “A good night’s sleep allows the body to relax and clear chemical waste, repair damaged tissue, and decrease pain sensitivity.”
A foam roller can relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility and range of motion. Gonzalez said, “Rollers can facilitate blood flow and are a relatively cheap and efficient option.”
Foods that reduce inflammation and replenish depleted energy stores can minimize soreness. Below are some effective ones:
- The juice of tart cherries can ease muscle pain.
- Using turmeric to reduce muscle damage is anti-inflammatory.
- Cottage cheese replenishes muscle protein with whey protein and slow-acting casein protein as you sleep.
- As an antioxidant, green tea reduces muscle and cell damage.
- Omega-3 fatty acids and protein in nuts and seeds fight inflammation and prevent muscle breakdown.
- Sweet potato is a complex carbohydrate rich in nutrients and glycogen replenishment.
Massage also reduces muscle soreness. Gonzalez said, “A massage increases blood flow, which reduces inflammation. In addition, it increases mitochondria, which boosts cell repair and function.”