Why do we get sore from our workouts?
The simple answer is that when we work out, we break down our muscles. That sounds terrible, right? But it’s not. It’s actually exactly what you want!
That’s what your body is doing, too. Your workouts create tiny little tears in your muscles, which are then rebuilt when you rest and recover. This is how your body grows stronger, and how you build up more healthy lean muscle.
The consequence is some soreness, particularly 24 – 36 hours after your workout, and particularly when you get out of bed in the morning or out of your chair in the afternoon!
But we can’t sit around recovering forever! Why is it important to recover fast?
- We can’t be skipping workouts. We’ve got fitness goals! We need to recover quick so we can get back in the gym.
- When we’re fully recovered, we feel better and we perform better. Our workouts are more effective and we don’t get so fatigued!
- Soreness interferes with more than just workouts: It interferes with life! We need to recover so we can give all we’ve got on even the busiest days.
How can you decrease that annoying soreness, which may even keep you out of the gym longer than you’d like? And how can you help your body build and repair those muscles?
Here are my top 5 strategies for faster recovery.
1. DO SOME FOAM ROLLING
You’ve probably heard of foam rolling. It involves using a foam roller, which is a tubular piece of plastic-reinforced foam, to roll slowly against your own muscles, massaging them and releasing tension. Foam rolling can be a bit painful because of soreness and tightness, but the benefits are amazing! Properly foam rolling increases the flexibility of your soft tissues, gives you better mobility, increases blood flow throughout your body, and even releases the lactic acid buildup that causes soreness. If you do it regularly, it can decrease your chances of injury during workouts and decrease your recovery time. It’s like stretching, but better. It might feel a little uncomfortable, but trust me, it’s worth it!
2. TAKE AN EPSOM SALT BATH
Everyone knows that hot baths feel great! But now you have a healthy excuse to indulge in one: It’s good for your recovery. Epsom salts, which you can usually find for cheap at the grocery or drugstore in a big bag, contain magnesium sulfate. When this mineral is absorbed through your skin, it can draw out toxins, reduces swelling, and relaxes all of your muscles. You’ve probably noticed that even soaking in a hot bath without epsom salts relaxes you, so adding them will give that feeling a real physical boost. Your bath should be nice and hot (but comfortably so). I find that I need to soak for at least 20 minutes to get the recovery benefits that I’m after. You should also add two whole cups of the salts! Most bathers add far less, so grab those measuring cups from the kitchen. Don’t worry, they really will dissolve! Want to make the experience more than just muscle recovery? For an extra benefit and relaxation I like to add essential oils. such as lavender and eucalyptus.
3. ADD BCAAS TO YOUR ROUTINE
BCAAs instigate protein synthesis inside your body. Protein synthesis is the process by which your body builds protein cells, which are what your muscles are made of. This means that BCAAs contribute to your body’s ability to rebuild muscle. The breaking down of your muscles is what makes you sore, so the faster your body can repair them, the faster your soreness will disappear. You may instigate protein synthesis by eating a protein-rich food like chicken or salmon, or by taking your usual protein supplement. This is why you should take BCAAs between meals, not alongside them: Let your BCAAs work for you on their own, and let your meals work in their usual way. BCAAs can begin and maintain protein synthesis at a faster rate than other protein sources, which essentially speeds your metabolism. BCAAs also decrease protein degradation in your muscles, and speed your recovery significantly! They are an amazing addition to your fitness regimen, and can get you back to the working out faster.
4. STAY HYDRATED
We all know that we should be well hydrated before a workout, and that we should drink fluids throughout our exercise regime. But did you know that staying hydrated afterwards actually speeds your recovery? There are big benefits to continuing your heightened fluid consumption for at least two hours after you work out. Staying hydrated replenishes your body’s stores of glycogen, which makes for better performance in upcoming workouts. So don’t toss your water bottle in your locker or leave it in your car after you work out! It’s super important to keep hydrated all day long. If you are not a huge fan of drinking water just add some lemon slices to your water. Or even add BCAA’s I also enjoy putting lemon and grapefruit essential oils in my water. Lemon helps detox your body grapefruit helps with hunger.
5. Go for a walk
This might seem counterintuitive. If you’re sore from working out, shouldn’t you rest in order to recover? But I’m not talking about running, power walking or sprints. Leisurely walk really does mean leisurely! There’s no need to get your heart rate way up or break a serious sweat: The goal here is just to get your muscles moving. So just go for a walk around the neighborhood at lunch, or do a couple of easy miles on the treadmill after work. Like some of the other recovery methods I’ve listed, walking increases blood flow to your sore muscles, which helps flush lactic acid away. And remember what your blood is made to do: deliver nutrients to your entire body. When you increase blood flow, nutrients get delivered to your muscles faster, which means that they can repair themselves quicker. Have you ever noticed how you’re more sore when you get out of bed, or after you’ve been in a desk chair for a couple hours?
6. Muscle Cream
For instant relief applying a muscle cream directly on the sore area. Muscle creams will help soothe the sore muscles and joint pain on contact. I love to use Deep Blue Soothing Blend it is a CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils, natural plant extracts, and additional helpful ingredients that provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas.
- Formulated with the Deep Blue proprietary blend of essential oils and other powerful ingredients
- Perfect for the athlete in your life, Deep Blue Rub is blended in a base of moisturizing emollients that leaves your skin soft and non-greasy
- Provides a cooling and soothing sensation to targeted areas
Now that you’re armed with my 6 best tips for recovering fast, what’s stopping you from getting an awesome workout today? Get out there and get moving, and still feel great tomorrow morning.
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