Helping Sore Muscles Post-Workout

Last week I was honestly beyond lazy. I ate less-than-optimally, drank too much wine, and was just really starting to become one with the couch. I think the quarantine is impacting all of our emotions in different ways. Not being productive, not moving my body, and not making the best nutrition choices was what needed to happen mentally for me last week. I’m not beating myself up (what a waste of energy), but just changing course this week.

I started Kayla Itsine’s BBG 1.0 program yesterday. The moves were pretty simple, but I was feeling surprisingly worked by the end of the 28-minute session. I’ve been working out consistently for a while now, so I didn’t expect to feel too much today. But let me tell you, I am hurting. On top of that I had a horrible night’s sleep thanks to baby-queen Noa, so I am feeling extra sluggish. I wanted to jot down a few ways I’m combating soreness today. In case you decide to give a new program a try during this quarantine, let me know if you try any of these!

Move your body, gently. This is counterintuitive since when you’re in pain you don’t exactly want to move. But, getting blood flow to your muscles will help ease the soreness sooner, as long as you aren’t over working them. Think walking, light stretching, or just being on your feet rather than sitting all day.

Foam rolling. You can think of foam rolling as a super cheap massage.  It will help decrease tissue tension and can improve your range of motion, which in turn helps improve performance and help recovery along.

Epsom salt bath. Soaking in hot water with epsom salts will feel amazing on sore or tight muscles. It helps reduce inflammation and improves muscle cramping. Your body also absorbs some magnesium from the soak which could improve the quality of your sleep (when muscle repair is happening). Try to stay in for at least 15 minutes.

Get cold. Cryotherapy, ice baths, or freezing showers are all ways to benefit from the healing benefits of cold. Cold constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. As the body heats back up, circulation is also improved, bringing more oxygen to the impacted muscles.

Hydrate. Water inside of muscle cells helps remove toxins from muscles. It’s important to hydrate on the day you actually work out, but hydrating once you’re already sore is helpful as well (basically drinking water is always a good idea). Aim for about half your body weight in ounces, plus 8 ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise, and 8 ounces for every serving of alcohol.

Compression-wear. Anything that helps improve circulation will also help ease muscle soreness. I love compression socks and wear them all the time, especially after (or during) a tough workout and while traveling.

Any other tips that work for you?

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