Post-exercise muscle pain is a normal part of working out and can be particularly painful if you haven’t exercised in a long time. Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS, is the pain and stiffness that you feel in your muscles several hours to days after a strenuous or unaccustomed exercise. Here are UFC Gym’s 5 tips to help you with muscle soreness.
Get a Massage (or Massage the Area Yourself)
Feeling sore from that workout you did a few days ago? It may be the time for you to use that excuse and treat yourself to a massage. A massage will reduce pain, relax your muscles and is a great method of stress relief. Muscle pain happens when you tiny tears occur in your muscle fibres. These tears make your body produce cytokines, which is the main reason for inflammation. A massage will help to reduce the amount of cytokines produced, therefore reducing the pain. If you get a cramp after exercising, it is because of the lactic acid building up around your muscles and massages help to move lymph, lactic acid and other stagnant toxins from your muscles.
Get Plenty of Rest
It is recommended that you sleep at least 7-8 hours a day and for good reason. Sleep is vital in order for your body to recover properly. When you are asleep, you tend to be (most of the time) immobile, allowing oxygen to flow more readily helping your muscles, helping them to heal. If you can’t get your 8 hours of sleep, at least try to have a consistent bedtime and wake time. A set routine of sleeping and waking will help to maintain a balanced body rhythm. If you want to see if sleeping really does help, check your heart rate in the morning when you first wake up. If your heart rate is between 60-80 beats per minute, you’re good, if it is lower than that, even better, but if it is higher than that it indicates that you need to sleep more.
Try a Contrast Shower
The harder you work out or exercise, the greater challenge you give your muscles, which can leave them sore and fatigued. In order to relieve muscle soreness and improve recovery time, try taking a hot and cold shower after your workout. All you need to do is start with a hot shower for 2-3 minutes and slowly change it to a cold shower for 1 minute. For optimal recovery, try to repeat this cycle for at least 5-10 minutes. The hot water will increase blood circulation, while the cold water will do the opposite. The contrast of both hot and cold will create a pump effect that will flush the lactic acid and other toxins that build up during exercise from your body. If you feel more intense pain in some areas, don’t hesitate to place the shower stream on it for added relief.
Drink Coffee (Moderately)
Research has found that caffeine blocks adenosine, which is a chemical that is released by your body in response to the small tears that we mentioned before. Therefore, drinking coffee can actually help to reduce muscle soreness after a strenuous workout. Although caffeine can help reduce pain, it can also do the opposite, so make sure not to overdo it with this one as too much caffeine can actually cause muscle spasms. If you don’t usually drink coffee, 1 cup of coffee a few hours after your workout should be plenty, however, if you drink coffee regularly, don’t go over 1-2 cups of coffee per day.
Try the Rollers
Previously only used by therapists and professional athletes, the “self-myofascial release method,” involving foam rolling, has now become mainstream and is for anyone who participates in sporting activity. Using the roller regularly can improve your balance, decrease exercise fatigue and reduce your likelihood of being sore, while also treating knots and muscles that may already be sensitive. Make sure to take it easy for your first time, as you will need some time to get used to the amount of pressure required.
Want to hear more about ways to help you with post-exercise muscle pain? Come in to UFC Gym Vietnam today to talk to one of our professional coaches or try a FREE trial!
To celebrate 10 years of Making Life Better in Vietnam, CMG.ASIA, which manages California Fitness and Yoga Centers, Eri International, UFC Gym Vietnam, CaliKids Academy and Yoga Plus, is hosting the Super X Prize, with a total prize value of more than 5 billion VND. This is a way for the corporation to thank all the loyal clients who have invested into their health with us over the past 10 years.
Visit http://www.xprize.vn or contact reception for more information on this exciting event.
Baptiste Solente (Calipso)