Sometimes it just hurts. Sometimes my muscles get so sore I can barely lift them. Sometimes my whole body is sluggish and fatigued the next day from muscle soreness. Today it hurts. My last two workouts really kicked my ass. Here are 6 ways to relieve muscle soreness post-workout without any medication (because we are all about the natural path to fitness):
- Gentle Stretching. Our muscles tighten and harden during workouts and stretching can soften them and relieve pain. I love to do some light yoga on a rest day.
- Massage or Foam Roll. Depending on the level of your pain you can go for a respective massage. If you are in intense pain, you may want to wait a day for that deep tissue massage. When I am feeling up for it, I occasionally drop into this great cheap Chinese massage parlor. It is cheap and gets the job done. Or you can use a foam roll at home to knead muscles DIY. Here is a great article about it with some moves you can try.
- Cold compress. When the pain gets to too much, I will tape a cold compress onto the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. This really relieves muscle soreness instantly.
- Tart cherries or cherry juice. I recently learned that the antioxidant compounds in cherries can reduce inflammation. Read the study for more information. Drinking some cherry juice is said to reduce the pain of muscle soreness. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will today.
- Move. While rest is definitely necessary to allow your muscles to recover, you shouldn’t just be sitting on the couch all day. Getting some blood flowing in those muscles you worked will speed up recovery. Again, this is why I like doing light yoga on a rest day. Two birds in one stone. But – you can also just go for a brisk walk.
- Hydrate. Drink enough water before, during and after your workout to help decrease inflammation and recovery time.