Have you started exercising again? Feeling a little sore? This is quite common but something that can be helped relatively easily. If you are experiencing sore muscles from exercise, there are a few things you can do today to find relief.
Why do you have sore muscles?
If it’s been a while since you did a workout or you started to up your ante recently, chances are you’re feeling a little sore. Exercise is important for your overall health and wellbeing. It can help improve your lungs, heart and, of course, help build your muscles and strength.
Generally, if you are trying a new exercise or are increasing the intensity of your current workout, you may experience muscle soreness. This is due to small tears in your muscle fibres. As your muscles grow and become stronger, these small tears may occur. Muscle pain due to exercise may last up to several days.
How to relieve sore muscles
If you’re feeling sore after your latest workout, it can be surprising how much a simple stretch can really help. There have been some studies into stretching and its effectiveness on muscle soreness. Although one study found that stretching didn’t help reduce or prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness in adults, stretching can help to give you some mild relief. Stretching may help soothe your aches after a workout.
Get a massage
When your muscles are really hurting, why not use this as an excuse to treat yourself to a massage? Getting a massage is always relaxing and if you’re sore after a workout, you may find a massage helps to improve muscle performance. According to one recent study, a massage will work best on sore muscles if completed 48 hours after your workout.
Have a hot bath
Heat therapy immediately after exercise is best. What is even better is moist heat. A warm bath can do wonders for muscle soreness but if you can’t get to a bath right away, hot/warm towels or heat packs can also help. If you add Epsom salts to your bath, too, you can have added pain relief as these salts have been found to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Try some cold therapy
After you’ve added heat to your muscles, it’s ideal to use cold therapy afterwards. Cold therapy can help to reduce swelling and nerve activity. If possible, soak in a cool bath to help relieve your aches. But, if it’s not possible (or you don’t think you can handle a cold bath in the cooler months!), ice packs or even a bag of frozen vegetables can help.
Even though you might not feel like working out when you’re feeling so sore, exercise may actually help. Muscle soreness is completely normal when you start working o0ut new muscles. You should only get sore muscles again if you increase the intensity of your workout or use new muscles. Try and push through and continue with your workouts. If you find that the pain is a little too much, try and change to a new exercise routine that focuses on a different group of muscles while you recover.
Use a topical pain relief product
There are a number of products on the market that have been developed to help reduce muscle aches and pains. This is especially true for aches that are due to exercise. If you’re not keen on taking pills or medications for your aches, there are a few natural topical treatments that are applied directly to the muscle that can help with the pain, such as Zen. Depending on the pain and which muscles are affected, you might find this is a good option as you can stay mobilised whilst using it.
See a doctor
If you don’t see any improvements in the pains in your muscles or your symptoms last for more than 7 days, it’s a good idea to have a chat with your doctor. Aches and pains from exercise should resolve within a few days. If your pain persists or keeps coming back, it might be worth seeking medical attention. If you experience dizziness, trouble breathing or weakness alongside your pains, seek medical attention as soon as possible.