Have your workouts been leaving you feeling achy and in pain? Even though muscle soreness is uncomfortable, you should know that delayed onset muscle soreness is actually a good thing. Muscle soreness is caused by inflammation of the muscle due to microtears in the muscles fibers. If this sounds scary to you, don’t worry! This is your body’s way of building muscle to be bigger and stronger.
Microtears in your muscles fibers are caused by the strain of pushing your muscles to work harder than usual, and your body’s process of mending over these tears is what causes your muscles to grow larger. So although soreness may be uncomfortable, it is also a sign that you are getting stronger.
Although soreness is a sign that you’ve been working hard, it can also be pretty annoying, so here are a few natural ways to help reduce and prevent muscle soreness after your workouts.
Natural Methods of Relief for Sore Muscles:
- Indirect Ice application: The indirect application of ice (wrapped in a thin towel) helps to directly soothe muscle inflammation, and is best used directly after, or within 48 hours of the onset of soreness.
- Heat application: Unlike ice, heat is best for delayed onset soreness. It will help relax a tense, stiff muscle by increasing blood flow to the area.
- Ginger: This amazing herb is known for fighting inflammation and helping to ease pain. Taking ginger supplements can help reduce the feeling of muscle soreness for your future workouts.
- Vitamin C: Taking Vitamin C supplements have been shown to help reduce the feeling of muscle soreness, as well as being great for your cardiac health.
- Post-workout protein: Protein is one of the best nutrients for your muscles, and essential for muscle growth and repair. Feeding your body protein after a workout allows for a faster recovery, and less soreness.
- Active recovery: Less-intense exercise after working out helps prevent a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, reducing the feeling of soreness.
- Massage: This also helps stimulate blood flow in the sore area, and diminish swelling within the muscle.