4 tips for dealing with post-workout pain

Relieving the pain that results from exercising has long been an issue for most people. Some would say no pain no gain, while others relish that soreness the following day after a hard workout because they know that they accomplished muscle fatigue (which leads to muscle growth). However, most of us would be much happier without the pain following a workout. In fact, this is the number one excuse to not work out the next day, which could in turn lead to derailing an established workout routine. There are many ways to help with the soreness and muscle fatigue the day after a workout, but the full process starts directly after your workout to begin the healing process.

Nutrition is one of the best ways to help with muscle soreness the following day. Most of us don’t eat right, which can lead to slower healing of our muscles. I recommend having a simple carbohydrate - such as fruit or yogurt - directly after your workout to satisfy the body’s need for fast energy. 30 minutes to 1 hour after your workout (and eating a simple carbohydrate), eat some kind of protein, such as eggs, fish, chicken, Greek yogurt or almonds, to help the muscle rebuilding process. By doing these simple steps following your workout, your body will receive the nutrition in the order it needs it, to help it rebuild the torn muscle fibers. This will in turn decrease the muscle soreness that follows the very next day.

I always prefer to warm up with cardiovascular exercise for 5 minutes prior to my workout. Just walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes or riding a stationary bike will allow blood to flow through your muscles, which will loosen and warm them up. This will help decrease the muscle soreness from the day before. Then follow your warm up with light stretching on the muscles you worked the prior day.

Stretching is vital to decrease muscle soreness as well as decreasing the chance of injury the next day. Stretching should be performed directly after completion of your workout, as well as the next day. The stretches could be broad, like bringing your knees to your chest while laying on your back to stretch out your lower back. You can also use a foam roller to help you stretch. There are many stretches you can do, but they depend on the prior day’s workout and the level of muscle soreness that you may be experiencing.

Muscle gel relievers are a great way to relieve muscle soreness. Two fantastic muscle pain relievers are Biofreeze and Sub-zero. You can get these from health practitioners, pharmacies, and online e-commerce health websites. These two particular brands work fast and help relieve the muscle soreness – sometimes immediately.

TENS therapy is also a great way to relieve more severe muscle soreness due to working out. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the use of electric current produced by a device to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. Tens units are inexpensive and can be worn throughout the day to provide muscle relief, and they come in both prescription and over-the counter form. You may want to seek out your health practitioner for more advice on using these devices.

As you can see muscle soreness following regular exercise can be dealt with in many ways. Therefore, take care of it properly to make sure your exercise routine doesn’t suffer.