A few intense TRX sessions at the gym, and I feel like a zombie who's been hit by a truck. Sore muscles are never comfortable, but I wear them with a badge of honor knowing I pushed my body a little harder than usual.
On those days after I've gone a little overboard, relief is definitely in order — here are my go-to ways of easing sore muscles.
Whether it's a hot tub, steam or sauna room, or just a soak in my tub at home, a little heat always does wonders for sore muscles. Applying heat to muscles reduces pain by increasing blood flow to the area, which helps the small muscle tears causing the pain heal faster.
2. Stretch It Out and Move About
After working out, a good stretch session is a must — lengthening overworked muscle fibers by stretching eases possible post-workout pain. Although, some studies have found that stretching doesn't relieve the lingering pain of a hard fitness session, but it can help make muscle fibers healthier and more elastic.
On days when stretching is not enough to relieve pain, light cardio the day after an intense workout improves circulation, warming up your body — and we already know that a little heat goes a long way to help the pain go away!
3. Rub the Pain Away
As if any of us needs an excuse for a massage, getting one is a great way to relieve muscle tension and pain. Pamper yourself with a professional massage, ask a friend to do the rubbing for you, or DIY with a foam roller or tennis ball.
4. Cool Yourself Off
There's a reason elite athletes swear by the post-workout ice bath — it works. The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, which reduces swelling. And when you come out of the bath, your body warms up quickly, improving circulation, which also helps with the healing process. If you're not a fan of shocking cold temps, use ice to spot-treat a specific muscle group.
5. If All Else Fails...
Even with the best care, we sometimes need a little something extra to ease away the pain. Don't be ashamed to take an ibuprofen; it might not help you heal any faster, but it can definitely take the edge off. Give yourself a day or two to rest and recuperate before heading into the next intense workout.
This article was originally published at PopSugar Fitness. Reprinted with permission from the author.