Sore muscles – 10 Tips on How to Prevent sore Muscles and Stiffness
Have you ever experienced muscle soreness and stiffness after an intense physical training session? Of course you have. We all had this kind of experiences and we all thought that it was unfair to feel bad after exercising, when we were supposed to feel better since the exercise is good for our body.
Intense exercising, especially after a longer period of physical inactivity, leads to sore and stiff muscles. This phenomenon occurs when micro fibers in the muscles tear. To defend the injured area, the body sends fluid into those areas, causing swelling. The swelling triggers pain receptors making us feel stiff and sore. The pain peaks within about 48 hours, and then it will gradually fade away. Once the minor muscle injuries are repaired, the muscle actually gets stronger and doing the same activity as before will no longer lead to damages.
The truth is that most of the people get discouraged by the pain and stiffness and give up on exercising. But we should know that the muscle soreness onset can be delayed.
Most of the experts recommend wrapping the sore area with an ice pack. Heat works too for pain reducing, but its effect can be felt as long as the hot wrap is on the affected muscle. When the hot device is no longer on the muscle, the pain gets back. A good option is combining the ice with the heat: initially the inflammation can be reduced with ice, and then the heat can be used to increase blood flow to the area. Heat also can help relieve joint pain.
Another way to fight sore muscle is taking some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nurofen), naproxen (Aleve), or aspirin. They all help relieve the discomfort, but they cannot be taken for longer periods, because they can affect the muscles’ capacity to repair themselves.
10 Tips for preventing sore muscles and stiffness
- Begin the exercising session with some good warm-up exercises.
- Make a stretching session afterward, when your muscles are already warm.
- Start off your training with lighter exercise and gradually build up. It is recommended to increase the exertion level by only about 10% at a time.
- Take vitamins high in antioxidants, like vitamin C.
- For prevention purposes take an anti-inflammatory medicine.
- Get a good massage with some anti-inflammatory cream. Massage stretches the muscle and eases out toxins.
- Eat proteins after an intense exercise to prevent the post-workout soreness.
- Include ginger into your diet. People who took ginger 8 days before intense work-out reported reduced soreness levels. In the same way, if you will take 100 mg of coenzyme Q10, the muscle pain will be reduced with 50%.
- It is highly recommended not stop the exercising. It will only make you feel worse. The day after a strenuous workout, we should do at least some moderate exercise to relieve the pain in the muscles. Try some stretching, a light jog, mild weight training or even a brisker walk. Active recovery gets rid of muscle soreness and stiffness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles without overexerting your already sore muscles.
- Cuddle. Cuddling increases the oxytocin levels, a hormone that helps the human body to deal with the pain and recover from physical injuries.
Sometimes, when the muscle pain occurs sooner than 1-2 days (usually immediately after the training session and it is not the lactic acid, which is eliminated within 1 hour after the exercising) and it feels really intense, it might be a sign of more severe injure. Call your doctor if your pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days.