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How to Minimize Soreness After Workouts!

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We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Whether it was when we first started a new exercise program or started back up again after taking a break. What I’m talking about are sore muscles.

 

Before discussing how to minimize the soreness felt in muscles a day or two after starting or restarting an exercise program, or a significant change in intensity or duration to an existing program – called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS, let’s first talk about what causes it. When we exercise tiny tears in muscle fiber occur. As could be expected, the amount of tears is generally related to how hard or long the stress is on the muscle and to a great extent the kind of exercise performed. Although it is uncomfortable for a few days it is your bodies way of adapting to exercise. However, there are some things that you can do to minimize its effects:

 

Proper Nutrition

 

Muscles need protein to repair themselves. The best time to consume it is within an 1-2 hour window after exercising. Closer to the 1 hour mark is best! Post workout protein sources includes protein smoothie, protein bars, greek yogurt with fruit, unsalted nuts, apples or celery with peanut butter, etc.

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Adequate Hydration

 

Dehydration can inhibit cell recovery at the muscular level so be sure to drink enough water before, during and after working out. Aim for a gallon a day. You won’t need a sports drink in order to stay hydrated unless your workout is outside in hot, humid temperatures or your workout lasts longer than 1 hour. If you do choose an sports drink be sure to choose one that does NOT contain artificial sweeteners.

 

Compression

 

Doing a cool-down after exercising helps to reduce delayed soreness, but so does rubbing down the worked muscles. Get a massage or have your significant other work the excess fluid out of your muscles.

 

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Blood Flow

 

Just as cells need water to repair themselves, so do they need blood flow. Not only does fresh blood bring in much needed oxygen for cell repair, but it also takes out wastes created from exercising. An alternating cold/hot shower, ice bath or a swim are all good post-workout ways to keep the blood flowing.

 

Epsom Salt Baths

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Soaking in Epsom salt baths not only treats your sore muscles but it also can help prevent inflammation and irritation in your joints and muscles. This method is used regularly by athletes. Just add a few cups of epsom salt to warm water and soak until the water becomes cool. You can do this multiple times per week .

 

I personally alternate between hot/cold shower a few days per week and the epsom salt bath the other days.

 

Exercising doesn’t have to be painful. Use these five tips to make working out more enjoyable!

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6 Benefits of Starting Yoga

yoga blocksPeople turn to yoga for various reasons. Here are six benefits that will have you doing yoga too:

 

1) Increase flexibility

 

Stiffening of the muscles can happen as we age. We tend to lose a certain amount of our joint range of motion. Along with loss of flexibility comes less stability and an increased risk of falling, one of the most common injuries among seniors.  A fall can lead to a broken hip, twisted knee or sprained ankle.

 

Yoga can get back that flexibility. The postures, called asanas, performed during a yoga session work joints through their full range of motion and restores your flexibility.

 

2) Lessen lower back pain

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Yoga can ease lower back pain. A study published by Spine Journal, they found that two 90-minute yoga classes a week for six months eased back pain of study participants by 56 percent, compared to only a 16 percent reduction for the other group of participants using physical therapy and pain medications. It works by strengthening the core back muscles thus keeping the spine better supported.

 

3) Get more and better sleep

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If you suffer from insomnia, doing 45 minutes of yoga daily can help you get to sleep 15 minutes faster and sleep an hour longer. By sleeping more not only will you feel better the next day, but your body and mind will function better too because you are well rested and your body had time to repair and rejuvenate itself.

 

4) Have better sex!

 yoga sex

Yoga has been helping people have more satisfying sexual relationships for centuries. Just two hours a week of yoga helps reduce anxiety and stress, while increasing body awareness (of both your and your partner), increase blood flow to genital area, and speeds up the release of hormones related to sexual desire. It also improves your body image and confidence making you less inhibited sexually.

 

5) Improve muscle toning

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Many people don’t know yoga is a type of strength training that uses just the bodyweight of the individual. As you move from posture to posture, your bodyweight shifts from one set of muscles to another. Transitioning weight in this manner works the muscles through their full range of motion better than traditional forms of strength training. With increased toning, not only do you look better, but also feel better and have more confidence.

 

6) Breath deeper

 

Yoga focuses on three areas: postures, breathing and meditation. Breathing techniques help you breath deeper thus getting more oxygen into your lungs and carbon dioxide out. A better exchange of oxygen/carbon dioxide helps the body gets more oxygen into the cells and toxins out keeping you healthier.

 

Bonus: Increase mental awareness

 

The benefits we have focused on so far have all been physically related. However there is a meditation aspect to yoga that appeals to many participants. They feel less stressed, more relaxed and in a better frame of mind after performing yoga. And most participants find they can handle future stress better as a result of yoga.

 

For a healthier body and mind, consider doing yoga. There are many different types of yoga so be sure to try a few different classes until you find the one right for you.

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