After a hard workout, naturally, your body experiences pain all over. This is one reason why other people avoid hitting the gym or doing hardcore exercises. But you wouldn’t achieve a fit body or be the best athlete you can be without experiencing pain. It’s part of the process but one you’re able to overcome once you know how to treat those weak and painful muscles.
You only need to give your body enough time to recover and repair itself. And when you do it right, you’re able to come back to each training much stronger and better able to do harder exercises.
Some people grab a pain reliever to ease the pain. But you don’t need to fill your body with unnecessary chemicals when you’re able to do it more naturally. Here are the ways to do it:
1. Take a midday nap
Research suggested that taking a nap two hours after your workout can be the best way to help your body restore itself. Even a 20-minute power nap is enough to help ease your weary muscles. Don’t worry, it couldn’t hamper your night sleep ahead.
2. Give yourself rest
Hitting the gym 7 days a week is a big no-no. There’s no easy way to lose weight fast or master a sport by forcing yourself to workout too much. You should also provide resting days for your body to recover and repair itself in its own pace. Time does heal all wounds, including muscle soreness after a tough workout.
3. Eat protein pre and post workout
Your body needs proteins to build stronger muscles and maintain them during the workout. Because your body needs full recovery throughout the day, snacking on proteins after a workout can work wonder. You may consume bananas, oats, chicken, fruits, and Greek yogurt prior to your workout.
The best post workout protein sources include eggs, beans, tuna, milk chocolates, tart cherry juice, and whey protein. With all these options, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain healthy muscles while your body is in its repair and recovery mode.
4. Get a massage
A full body massage enhances more blood circulation, which can help you relax fully. Having a good massage also help break up scar tissue and reduce muscle stiffness. Additionally, when you get a good massage, the lactic acid in your body will break up and be removed from the muscles.
5. Limit alcohol intake
After a hard day of training, going out with friends can be your way to relax. But beware of too much alcohol. Research found that having a drink of more than two glasses can hinder your body’s recovery process. This is because alcohol has toxic contents that can dehydrate your body and interfere with your cellular system processes.
6. Drink tart cherry juice
Tart cherry juice is another alternative for milk chocolate after a workout. While milk chocolate helps refuel the body, tart cherry juice helps relieve muscle soreness right after a workout. Tart cherry juice has been popular for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been valued by people suffering from gout and arthritis.
The anthocyanins in cherries are found to help in easing muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Runners and athletes go for tart cherry juice because of its ability to reduce muscle pain and weakness after hard training and workouts.
7. Plunge into ice baths
Ice baths also work wonders after a workout. This process is popular among athletes and celebrities. In fact, this is where the popular ice bucket challenge in 2014 originated.
Ice baths can help you get rid of lactic acid, which is produced by your body after a tough workout. Ice baths are also found to speed up muscle recovery. However, doctors are skeptical of its effectiveness because it can also lead to possible stroke or cardiac attack.
If ice baths look scary, try cold showers instead. They may not give you all the benefits of ice baths, but cold showers can improve your blood circulation and speed up muscle recovery.
8. Get enough sleep
When you’re in intense training or workout, you should prioritize sleep. Your body produces growth hormone, which regulates tissue repair and growth during sleep. Aim for an optimal sleep for fast muscle recovery.
9. Hydrate yourself
You lose lots of bodily fluids during exercise. Replacing those fluids after exercise not only prevents your body from dehydration but also aids your muscles for a fast recovery. Energy drinks are the most common option but grabbing a bottle of water is the best option.
10. Drink chocolate milk
The proteins and carbohydrates in a chocolate flavored milk can refuel your body after an intensive exercise, according to a study. After drinking milk chocolates, the muscle biopsies of participants in the study showed an increase in the skeletal muscle protein synthesis, which means muscles were in the process of rebuilding themselves. A higher concentration of the muscle fuel, glycogen was also found.
Fat free milk chocolates can be your healthy post workout dessert to replenish glycogen and help you in future performance.
11. Relax and listen to music
Good music can be your best partner and a source of more power for an enduring workout. But music shouldn’t stop after hitting the gym. Relaxing and gentle tunes have the ability to help you ease up and relax your mind. When you’re in a mental state of deep relaxation, your body is able to relax too. Try to listen to slow beat music and allow your pulse rate to calm down.
12. Do gentle stretches
Gentle stretches after an intense workout can help your muscles recover fast. Stretches are even more helpful for workouts or sports that require more flexibility such as gymnastics. In tough workouts, the muscles go through numerous contractions that lead to soreness and stiffness. You can reduce these feelings of discomfort through gentle stretches.
13. Have a definite workout plan
Planning your workout ahead is essential in your training session. You need to know beforehand the type of exercises you’ll do and how many repetitions your body can handle. This can help you prevent over-exercising your body. When you’ve pushed yourself too much, it could bring more harm than good and would undermine your recovery efforts.