Have you ever felt a dull, throbbing pain in your arms, legs, or ankles after a long, brisk walk or a strenuous workout? You are not alone. Almost everyone has felt post-exercise muscle soreness at some point in their life, especially they have just begun their workout journey. In order to become stronger and fitter, it is necessary to push your body harder. However, it is also equally important to give it adequate time to rest.
All forms of exercises tend to stress the body out, as the workout causes microscopic tears or damages to the muscle cells. The changes that occur in your body while working out can do a lot of good. It leads to muscle strengthening, fat loss, reduced inflammation, better cardiovascular health, and overall health improvement.
However, we cannot deny that muscle soreness post workout can cause a lot of discomfort and even put a wrench on your everyday activities. This discomfort is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Though this is nothing to worry about as it is actually strengthening your body, the downside of DOMS is that it can lead to limited range of motion.
While there is no way one can avoid muscle soreness post a workout, there are some tips and techniques that will help you recover faster and ease the discomfort.
Eat the right foods:
In order to repair your muscles, your body requires protein. Consuming protein before working out may help increase the muscle protein synthesis. Consuming protein post-workout is a must as it gives your body the nourishment it needs to repair the muscle damage. Carbohydrates are also required to provide energy for your next workout. The muscles in your body store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen for energy. During an intense workout, the muscles use this glycogen as their primary form of energy. Healthy fats are also needed to lubricate your joints. The key to faster recovery from muscle soreness is eating right and eating on time. Eating an overall balanced diet will ensure that you don’t develop nutrient deficiencies that may hinder your recovery.
Always stay hydrated:
Dehydration can hinder your muscles’ ability to repair and recover. You are more prone to dehydration if you exercise in hot and humid weather conditions. And to strengthen damaged muscles, your body needs fluids. In order to keep yourself adequately hydrated, you must drink about 230 ml of water for every 15 – 30 minutes of exercise. If you skip drinking water or drink less fluids, your soreness will not only feel more intense, it will also take longer to heal. According to research, fluids such as tart cherry juice post workout may also help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.
Warm up before workout:
Always make it a point to warm up before you start intense workouts. Take 10 – 15 minutes before workout to stretch your muscles through some stretching exercises, followed by a simple aerobic activity (like a brisk walk), to ensure proper blood circulation to the muscles. This will help prevent injury to the muscles while working out and aid recovery.
Cool down post workout:
It is important to take time and slow down your workout by reducing the intensity of it, rather than stop it abruptly. This prevents fluids from pooling into the muscles and hindering recovery. Also, if your heart is pumping, a cool down routine will help your return breathing to normal.
Get a massage:
Most athletes tend to incorporate massage into their routine, and for a good reason. Massaging sore muscles can help relieve tightness. Working through the knots can help relax the muscles and increase blood circulation to the affected area. You can also use a pain relief gel while massaging as it reduces inflammation and provides instant relief. Topical relief solutions also contain ingredients that provide a warm or cooling sensation to the affected area, thus distracting you from the pain.
Get adequate sleep:
Sleep gives your muscles their much-deserved break to recover from the exercise. People who engage in intense workouts need more rest as compared to those who don’t. During sleep, the body produces hormones that aid muscle repair and recovery, which in turn aids the healing process.
Apart from following these strategies to ensure faster recovery from muscle soreness, it is also necessary to take note of the things you must avoid. You must reduce or avoid the consumption of ultra-processed foods while working out. You must also avoid alcohol and tobacco usage as they may impair your muscles’ ability to make a recovery.
Topical Pain Relief Gels for Muscle Recovery
As mentioned earlier, massaging can help relax the muscles and relieve tightness, thus aiding repair and recovery. This is where using a topical pain relief treatment comes in handy. Topical solutions such as a pain relief gel contains active ingredients that target a specific problem and treat it. You can use topical pain relief gel for muscle to help relieve pain and aid in quick healing. Acute musculoskeletal pain can also be treated with topical analgesics. So, you might benefit from applying a layer of the topical muscle recovery gel or spray if you have muscle soreness post an intense workout. Omnigel muscle pain relief gel is one such ointment that provides relief to all kinds of pain. The diclofenac formula of Omnigel gives quick pain relief, making it your go-to solution for muscle soreness. You must keep in mind that post workout soreness is normal and nothing to worry about. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can prevent injury during workout and ensure speedy recovery post workout. You can also take vitamins for muscles and nerves in order to strengthen them.