We all get sore muscles sometimes, right? After a super hard workout or one that you haven’t done in a while… Sometimes you think you’re fine and then two days later you can’t walk. And when you’re super sore you look hilarious as you try to walk, it’s hard to make it up (but especially down) the stairs, and lifting a cup of tea to your mouth may be a huge feat. Half of your body is so upset and half of your body is so proud because it’s no fun to workout and then not be sore, because then you feel like you didn’t do any work! We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt like this…
But there isn’t much option for lying around after leg day, right? So let’s talk about some of the things you can do to help relieve your muscle-soreness and still support your fitness progress without giving up on making it through the day!
Close to your workout:
STRETCH (after you warm up your body). Lightly warm up your body with some jogging/jumping jacks/jumping rope/punches etc and then stretch before you go into your full workout. Stretching cold muscles can cause injury.
FOAM ROLLER: This is for after your workout. Foam rollers get deep into the muscle tissue and can help release tension and get the blood flowing. You can target specific places in your body to roll too! It’s a funny sensation, but so wonderful.
HEAT THERAPY: There are heat patches to apply directly to the skin, but also a good long soak in the tub can really help increase blood flow after a heavy workout. (You can even do a hot/cold treatment to open the vessels even more!)
WATER: The ultimate hydrator. Drink a LOT of it. Shoot to drink 1/2 to 1 oz of water per pound of your body weight. It will seem like a lot at first, but take it a little at a time! In no time you’ll be drinking a gallon of water a day easily and you’ll feel so good!
DARK COLORED FRUIT: Tart cherries and blueberries (and nutrient dense raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and plums) can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and additionally they help raise the melatonin levels in the body for a more restful sleep!
LEAFY GREENS AND CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES: Chard, collards and kale can reduce the insulin response and contain many nutrients to help eliminate free radicals that slow recovery. Leafy greens are very low-glycemic carbs so you can and should eat them all the time! They are SO good for you.
HIGH GLYCEMIC FRUITS AND STARCHES: Glycogen is the power source for your muscles. Replenish your glycogen store by eating high glycemic fruits and starches! Watermelon, pineapple and kiwi are wonderful fruits for this purpose (and have other nutrients/antioxidants that help reduce inflammation!) Potatoes, one of my favorite foods, have a little bit of almost every nutrient that our bodies need plus really important starches. Get your sweet potato on!
OMEGAS: You’ve heard this before! Omegas support protein synthesis and reduce inflammation. The most popular way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and DPA, is through fish and/or fish oils. I am vegan and get mine from these pills.
ALMONDS AND OTHER NUTS: Eating nuts can help your body to accelerate the repairing of damaged tissue. Our bodies need a variety of fats to balance each other out. Almonds are omega-6 fats. Vary the nut! Stay away from salted nuts though… 😉
FERMENTED FOODS: Fermented foods are SO good for our bodies. They help improve digestion and boost immunity. Get your probiotics in with foods like high quality yogurt and kefir and for the vegans, we can get it through miso (try this one from where my dad works; I’m biased but it’s the best!), sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha and pickled vegetables.
CINNAMON: Cinnamon is my favorite topping. On almost anything! It’s great that it’s so good for me too! Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and blood sugar tolerance. It also helps with glycogen replenishment.
GINGER AND TURMERIC: Two of my other favorite spices, these two really help reduce DOMS. Turmeric contains curcumin which has been used for many medicinal purposes, from wound healing to cancer treatment. It’s a great anti-inflammatory agent. Again, I use these two spices in almost everything I make.
I hope you incorporate some of these tips into your daily life so that you can workout every day with no problems and with lots of progress!
The article that I used for writing this blog is here. They go far more into depth on these subjects and provide additional suggestions as well!
Peace, love and health!