Muscle pain from exercise relief

If you’ve ever hiked to the top of a mountain, run a longer distance than you had planned, or carried a child around the Zoo, chances are you’ve experienced muscle sores after exercise. Muscle pain is a common consequence of overexertion of the body.

Muscles grow and become more potent when exposed to forces that cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. Fluid flows to the area to flush out the damaged cells and build new, more vital muscle cells – and it can be uncomfortable.

Muscle soreness from 12 to 48 hours after a workout is a sign that the muscles are getting used to the training routine. The discomfort has a formal name: delayed muscle soreness, DOMS, and nothing to fear. Disadvantages? Too much muscle soreness can affect your range of motion.

Although there is no silver bullet to avoid muscle pain, the following strategies can be helpful during the recovery process:

  • The key is not to go hungry. You need protein to repair damaged muscles, carbohydrates to provide energy for the next workout, and healthy fats to lubricate your joints. So it is important to replenish both before and after a workout.
  • Dehydration is one of your biggest enemies when it comes to muscle recovery. To flush damaged muscle, you need fluids. A good rule of thumb is to swallow 8 grams of water every 15 to 30 minutes of exercise. Try this: Go on a scale before and after your workout. Have you lost weight? Drink 8 grams of water for every pound lost.
  • Warm-up. Stretch your muscles before exercising with some stretching exercises followed by simple aerobic activity (a slow jog or a brisk walk). Make sure you get a good amount of blood flow to the muscles you train that day. Your muscles should feel warm, especially if you run in cold weather. It also gives your muscles the need to rebuild after activity.
  • Cool down. Reverse the order of your heating, and you will have a solid cooling. If your heart is really pumping, a cooldown of 10 to 15 minutes will help your breath return to normal.
  • Massage of a sore muscle can help release tightness, which helps speed recovery.
  • Evaluate current solutions. While topical ointments such as Tiger Balm, and others do not go deep enough to reach the muscle, they contain ingredients that are cooling, numbing and tingling. Coolness can overcome the pain if you are really sore, but it does not speed up muscle recovery.
  • Using a foam roller increases blood flow to your muscles through applied pressure. By slowly rolling over areas of tension, you can help release tight muscles and speed up the healing and recovery process. After the workout, use 10 to 15 minutes with a foam roller before stretching exercises. When the muscle is more relaxed, you will stretch it further than if it is still contracted.
  • Exercise may not seem like a good idea when your muscles are already suffering. Still, research confirms that light activity helps maintain blood circulation and increases the body’s ability to drain waste and chemicals associated with muscle pain.

If you are more comfortable sitting on the sidelines than running a marathon, you can expect some muscle soreness when starting a new exercise program. But do not let aching muscles scare you. It is perfectly normal to experience muscle soreness when you have just created it. Over time your body will build stronger muscles to get painless often.

That said, it is essential to know the difference between running muscle soreness and an overload injury. Consult your GP if you are unsure if you have an injury.

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