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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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