We all know that saying ‘no pain, no gain’. Well, this isn’t necessarily true at all! Sure, feeling some soreness does mean that you properly worked out properly, but it doesn’t mean that if you don’t feel the pain, you haven’t worked out enough. Pain just means that your muscles have sustained some damage, but don’t fret, this is an entirely normal occurrence. However, this muscle soreness can be lessened a great deal. If you want to know how then keep reading.
What factors contribute to muscular soreness post workout?
Muscle soreness is something that may affect anybody, whether they are just starting out with exercise or are seasoned athletes who have recently increased the volume, intensity, or length of their workouts.
Microtears form in the working muscle as a result of the increased demand imposed on the body during exercise. Microscopic rips like this often occur with regular activity. Muscle development can’t occur without them. Soreness, however, originates from the same microtears.
As the body mends these microtears, the muscle grows back stronger and healthier than before, but at a price.
Because it takes time for the muscles to repair after exercise, the resulting discomfort is known as delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS).
It’s important to distinguish between the acute soreness that might occur during and shortly after an exercise bout, which is connected to muscular exhaustion rather than muscle repair and strengthening, and the delayed onset muscle soreness that can occur days or even weeks later.
A great way to relieve the tension in your muscles after a good workout is by using the self-myofascial release technique. This can be done with a foam roller, massage gun, or tennis ball. However, using a foam roller can be the most accessible tool to use. Using a soft foam roller is the best way to ease into using this technique for lessening muscle soreness and it will be less intense than a firmer foam roller. Simply roll the affected muscles on the foam roller in different positions, this will effectively massage the muscles.
Jumping into ice baths is a famed way of easing muscle soreness and helping in muscle recovery. Ice baths work by constricting our blood vessels when we enter the cold water, acting like an ice pack for our entire bodies. When we exit the ice bath our blood vessels expand and the blood flow will help our muscles recover more quickly. There are many ice bath benefits other than helping our muscles recover after a workout, so this method can help you in other areas of life as well. If you have only worked out a specific body part and aren’t feeling up to taking a full-body ice bath, you can also simply have the ice bath for that particular body part. If it was leg day, just submerge your legs in an ice bath for the benefits.
As mentioned before, our muscles will need to recover after a workout, especially if it was a strenuous one. The nutrients have been exhausted, thus a good way to help your muscles to recover is to give them back the nutrients they need. After a workout that pushed your muscles hard, you will need protein to help them recover. Within 30 minutes to an hour, you should consume a decent amount of protein depending on your goals. Protein not only helps replenish the amino acids your body needs to rebuild your muscles but it also replenishes the energy your muscles used during your workout.
Even though it may seem apparent, drinking enough of water is crucial for your muscles to recuperate after a workout. Keeping your body hydrated with water reduces swelling, eliminates toxins, and nourishes your muscles.
As Schroeder points out, it might be difficult to recognise the signs of dehydration since you will likely have already reached this state. Medium or dark yellow pee indicates dehydration, whereas light yellow urine indicates adequate hydration.
Among its many crucial functions, sleep plays a major role in facilitating the body’s recuperation after physical exertion. Even while it may not appear to help with [muscle pain] right away, it might end up being quite beneficial.
Muscle injury repair requires protein synthesis, which is boosted during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, as discussed in a study published in Sports Medicine.
Therefore, it is crucial to get enough sleep in the period immediately after exercise. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults get seven or more hours of sleep every night.
Next day workout
Even while it’s important to give your sore muscles a break, it doesn’t mean you should lie about all day. You can obtain some mild exercise by doing things like restorative yoga, going for a slow stroll, swim, or bike ride, or doing some moderate resistance training. The trick is to take a day off between intensive workouts on the same muscle groups. On an effort scale of 0 to 10 (where 10 is maximum intensity), strive for an effort level of 3. Without further harming the muscle tissues, you should increase blood flow to the injured areas so that oxygen and nutrients may be brought to the damaged areas to aid in the mending process.
Muscle soreness after exercise is beneficial, but should it last a long time?
While it’s true that we should try to keep inflammation to a minimum in our day-to-day lives due to the fact that it’s been linked to several chronic illnesses in the past, even a little amount of it may serve as a crucial signal for muscle development and healing when dealing with torn, inflamed muscles. It’s not so much that we don’t want inflammation to develop, but we do want to get it under control as quickly as possible, since helping your muscles heal from the injury will allow them to come back larger and stronger.
Does pre-exercise warm-up help decrease muscle soreness afterward?
You may have heard that stretching might help keep you from becoming hurt or uncomfortable. However, it’s not recommended that you stretch your muscles before you work them out.
Within a week following an exercise, stretching has been shown to have no impact on muscular soreness, as shown by a Cochrane analysis of 12 trials.
There is some evidence that a dynamic warmup performed immediately before to an exercise will lessen muscular pain experienced up to two days later, however this data is inconclusive.