Getting in a good workout is important to achieving that ideal physique you have always dreamed about, but it only comes with lots of hard work and dedication. Those who exercise to improve fitness have probably all heard the saying, “No pain; no gain.” Although there is quite a bit of truth to that statement, there are several ways you can prevent sore muscles after a tough workout.
Lots of stress, either physical or mental, can do a number on your overall health, and it can even make you feel quite sore after a strenuous exercise routine. Being stressed out or pushing your body past its limits can cause your progress to reverse. Use your workout as a stress reliever, but make sure you get the job done before you finish up. In order to prevent sore muscles after a good day at the gym, leave your worries behind with the dirty laundry.
Use your workout to focus both your physical and mental energies. You’ll be able to let go of the things that are bothering you. This can help to keep your stress hormone, cortisol, levels under control. This will also help to avoid unwanted inflammation that can come with excessive levels of the hormone. That inflammation is what leads to the sensation of pain. The more you can control its presence, the more you’ll prevent sore muscles from occurring in the first place.
When your body does not get all of its necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it can start to do some funny–and often painful–things. Moreover, a thirsty body is not a comfortable one to be in. If you want to prevent sore muscles altogether, make sure you are getting enough water and electrolytes before, during, and after your workout. If you bring a bottle with you to the gym to sip on between sets, you can consider yourself less likely to cramp up after you are finished.
Though you may feel inclined to look to sports drinks to rehydrate, unless your workouts are at the level of professional athletes, you don’t need the extra sugar and calories. You’ll do far better by eating the right foods and making sure you drink enough water throughout your entire workout. Water will provide you with everything you need without the extra sugar unless your workout is long and extreme.
Many people are not aware of this, but caffeine consumption can actually reduce the pain and soreness that come after a tough workout. Caffeine blocks pain receptors in the body, which can virtually alleviate those post-exercise aches and pains. Responsible consumption is important, though, as ingesting too much caffeine can ultimately have adverse side effects. Talk to your doctor to be sure about your health before you begin using caffeine to prevent sore muscles.
One of the most common reasons that soreness occurs is that muscles are pushed a little bit. That said, that amount of soreness is usually mild and quite tolerable. On the other hand, when you push things a little bit, then do it again before your body has had time to heal and recover, this can become quite uncomfortable. If you repeat the cycle, things will get worse as your body feels more achy, stiff and sensitive.
In this case, to prevent sore muscles, you need to remember to give them the chance to recover and heal between workouts. This usually just means taking a day or two off in between intense workouts. If you want to make sure you can keep up your workouts most days, just be sure to focus on specific muscle groups. That’s why you’ll hear people talk about “leg day” for example. It’s the day they work their lower bodies. Then then next day or two, they’ll rest their lower bodies and work on other areas in the meantime.
This time of healing and recovering can be accelerated through the use of the right tools such as foam rolling.
Being proactive about your workout can help you get the most out of your efforts with as little soreness as possible. It is unreasonable for anyone to think that a tough workout will be easy and painless, but that does not mean you have to be in agony just to be in better shape. Speak with a professional if nothing works for you, as excess pain after a workout could be a sign of something more serious.