Some people love it and see it as a receipt that they have done something and some people completely dread it. But one thing is for sure and that is that we all have it from time to time. We are of course writing about soreness from working out. In this article we will look at a couple of the best things you can do to reduce the soreness after working out. But first we need to know what soreness is!
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Why do you get sore after workouts
You might have noticed that you don’t get sore after all workouts but almost every time you try new exercises, set and rep ranges or pushes harder or longer during your workout. That is because soreness shows up after you have put new stress on the body that it is not used to, this seems to apply to all athletes both beginner and in professional sports. When your muscles are pushed harder than usual scientists believe that the new stress creates microscopic damage to the muscle fibers which your body needs to repair.
And that is the process scientists believe causes the soreness and stiffness in your muscles. To repair the damage you get inflammation in the muscles, calcium starts to accumulate and your immune system starts to send something called t-cells to the muscles that need repairing. Scientists still don’t know exactly how this puzzle of parts fit together to cause the soreness.
Before it was believed that soreness was caused by lactic acid build up from hard exercise but this has been debunked and declared not true.
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Best things for soreness after working out
So now you are at the part you were really looking for which is how to get rid of the soreness you have from your last hard workout. If you are really sore unfortunately there is not something that work a 100% for all people but below we have listed a few things you can try that might work for you!
1. Stretching and mobility work
If you feel really stiff from your last workout combined with soreness doing some light stretches and mobility work can do wonders for your comforts sake. Remember to take it easy and go slow if you are feeling stiff and make this session just for recovery and not to improve mobility as that would be very painful in this case.
Getting a massage helps loosen up your muscles and increases blood flow which in turn speed up recovery as more new blood transport more nutrients and oxygen which the muscle screams for.
3. Go for a walk
Taking a walk increases blood flow and might help, especially if you are sore in your legs. Go for a light walk and make it just for recovery and not a hard cardio session.
If you have a sauna available it is a good option both for softening sore muscles and for a lot of other health reasons.
We wrote sauna as a own point as it is a really nice thing for both body and mind but heat in general is great at increasing blood flow which is what you need to get rid of the soreness.
Cold reduces inflammation in the body and putting in ice pack on your sore muscles can help.
Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep as it is during sleep your body recovers and the sooner your body is fully recovered your soreness will be gone.
8. Over the counter Painkillers
This is the last resort and we don’t recommend using painkillers as soon as you get sore, but if you’re soreness starts to impact your daily life to a large degree where you have a lot of pain and have trouble working and doing your normal chores painkillers are an option if all else fails.
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Things you can do to prevent soreness
If you love to push your body to the limits often you will get sore every now and then but there are a few things you can do to lower the chances of it happening as often.
1. Take it easy on new exercises and programs
As the risk of getting sore increases as you introduce a new workout routine or exercises you can take it a bit more easy the first few sessions to work up to the heavier weights, longer runs etc to avoid getting super sore.
2. Focus on recovery
Keeping up with your diet and rest does not prevent soreness from happening but if you give your body optimal conditions to recover your soreness will go away faster and might not be as severe.
It has been debated if it helps to stretch after a workout to reduce soreness and some say it will and some say it won’t. But it will help with stiffness and being stiff might increase the discomfort of your soreness so doing some stretching after your heavy sessions is a good idea as a preventative measure.
4. Supplement with HMB
As you probably know, protein is made up of amino acids. Among those amino acids there are one named Leucine and if you break that down too you will find something called HMB. You can buy HMB as a supplement in both powder and pill form. As you might remember from the first part of this article your muscle fibres gets microtears when pushed to their limits and HMB is said to prevent just this. So if you have trouble from getting sore all the time you can try to supplement with HMB both before and after workouts to see if you get results.
Now you know what soreness is, how to manage it and how to prevent it so use what you learned and take your body to the next level!
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