If you want to start a new fitness program but are dreading the muscle soreness that comes with exercising, then you will be pleased to learn there are many things you can do to reduce the pain, including these tips:
Tip: Feed Your Muscles Before, During, and After Exercising
Since your muscles need a diet high in protein and carbohydrates to repair themselves after exercising, you can help them out by eating with this in mind. For example, if you are going to a Saturday morning fitness class, then the night before you should eat a meal such as pizza or spaghetti that is high in protein and carbs. The morning of your class, eat some eggs or another high-protein food for breakfast. After your exercise class, have a dinner that has lots of carbs and protein once again. This eating pattern will ensure that the right fuel will be readily available to heal your sore muscles.
Tip: Don't Soak in Hot Water Right After Exercising
If you are tempted to jump into a hot bathtub or jacuzzi after you exercise, you really should avoid doing so. Heating up your sore muscle tissue will increase its inflammation. Since the inflammation in your muscles is what gives you post-exercise soreness, a hot soak will provide some immediate relief but you will pay for it the next day because of the excess inflammation.
Tip: Massage Your Sore Muscles with an Ice Pack
To further reduce the stiffness and soreness that you will inevitably feel after getting back to exercising, you should massage your muscles and joints with an ice pack. Wrap an ice pack in a thin towel and then rub it repeatedly back-and-forth over all of the sore areas of your body.
Tip: Regularly Stretch Your Muscles Post-Exercise
While you may understand the importance of stretching your muscles immediately after exercising, you might not realize that you also need to regularly stretch them for the following day. By gently stretching your muscles every few hours, you will greatly reduce the soreness you feel after working out.
Tip: Consult with Your Fitness Center's Trainer Before Working Out with Muscle Soreness
Finally, if you are unsure about exercising because you are still sore from the day before, then you should consult with your fitness center's trainer. A licensed trainer like those at Aspen Hill Club will evaluate your condition and offer you advice about how far to push your body.