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A Guide to Understanding and Easing Muscle Soreness

Written By  Go Vita
Easing muscle soreness

Muscle soreness, often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is the achy sensation you experience a day or two after exercising. This is especially prevalent when you push your muscles beyond their usual limits or engage in a new activity.

Common Causes of Muscle Soreness

Essentially, your muscles develop tiny tears during the workout, and as they heal, they become stronger. However, during the healing process, they make sure you feel their discomfort.

 

Common causes of muscle soreness include:

 

  1. New Exercises: When you try a new activity, your muscles aren’t accustomed to the movements, leading to soreness.

  2. Increased Intensity: Raising the intensity of your workout causes more muscle damage and consequently more soreness.

  3. Eccentric Movements: Activities where muscles lengthen under tension, such as downhill running or lowering weights, are major culprits.

 

Managing Muscle Soreness

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

A proper warm-up increases blood flow to your muscles, preparing them for the workout ahead. Cooling down helps your muscles relax and begin the recovery process.

 

Hydration

Staying well-hydrated is crucial because water helps flush out waste products from your muscles, reducing soreness and aiding recovery. Additionally, maintaining proper electrolyte balance is essential. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, support muscle function and prevent cramps by ensuring your muscles contract and relax properly.

 

Gentle Stretching

Incorporating gentle stretching into your routine can alleviate muscle tightness and improve flexibility, making it easier for your muscles to recover.

 

Rest and Recovery

Allow your muscles ample time to heal by incorporating rest into your routine. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through excessive soreness.

 

Light Activity

Engaging in low-impact activities such as walking or swimming can help maintain circulation without adding strain to your already sore muscles.

 

Ice Therapy

Applying ice to sore muscles can reduce inflammation and numb the area, providing immediate pain relief. It’s particularly effective right after a workout or an injury.

 

Heat Therapy

Heat therapy, such as using heating pads or warm baths, can help relax and loosen tissues, and stimulate blood flow to the area. This is especially useful for chronic muscle pain and stiffness.

Dietary Considerations and Supplements

 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Incorporating foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties, such as fatty fish, berries, and leafy greens, can help reduce muscle soreness.

 

Protein

Consuming adequate protein helps repair and build muscle tissues, aiding recovery. Lean meats, dairy products, and plant-based proteins are excellent choices.

 

Supplements

Certain supplements like magnesium, turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants can support muscle recovery and reduce soreness. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

 

Muscle soreness can be an unwelcome aftermath of physical activity, but understanding its causes and learning effective management strategies can help mitigate the discomfort.

 

By incorporating proper warm-up and cool-down routines, staying hydrated, stretching, allowing for rest, and considering ice and heat therapies along with dietary adjustments and supplements, you can alleviate muscle soreness and keep your body ready for the next challenge. Listen to your body and take proactive steps to support your muscle health and recovery.

Information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace advice or treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any allergies or diagnosed conditions, or are taking prescription medications, always consult your healthcare professional before taking nutritional or herbal supplements.

 

About Margaret Leedham

Margaret Leedham brings a wealth of experience as a naturopath, educator, product developer

and writer to her role as the Brand Manager for NutriVital.

 
With over 24 years of experience, Margaret has also helped thousands of clients reach their health

and wellness goals through an evidence-based approach.

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Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.