Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to Avoid Sore Muscles after Working Out

  After running, working out or any type of intense physical activity, it is normal to feel pain in the muscles, or feel some soreness. Usually the pain starts immediately after the activity or the next morning. This occurs because the muscle tissue is torn during intense physical activity, the blood vessels dilate for better circulation, and body’s recover after the activity results in pain. To avoid or reduce such soreness, it is important to pay attention to some things before and after exercise.


1. Before each activity, warm up! I used to make this mistake regularly because I didn't spend time on "warm up and stretch", but now I understand why it's important to do it. You don’t need some special warming up, a light cardio exercise is sufficient or simply stretching your arms and legs. This is done to speed up the heart rate, which will spread the blood vessels, the muscles will relax and the body will be prepared for intense rapid breathing and circulation. If you don’t warm up, the body will go into shock, in which the blood vessels will have to spread suddenly, hence the pain after the workout. Before running, do brisk walking for 5 minutes, before fitness exercises or workout with weights, warm up your legs with 5 minutes on an elliptical trainer or other type of cardio and stretch your limb and joints.

  2. Consume fluids constantly! Before working out, while exercising and after the activity, drink a lot of water or sports drinks, which will help in the recovery of the injured tissue. The tissue will recover in time without the liquids, but this will cause the body to be in pain during process of recovery.

Click on the photos to check out some nice and fun water bottles!

  3. "Cool down" after workouts! After each exercise, practice the so called exercises for cooling and soothing the body. Similar to warm ups, these exercises help in slowing the heart beats and calming the breathing. It will help you avoid dizziness and nausea which can occur when the activity is abruptly interrupted and the blood gathers in the legs. And most importantly, allow your muscles to recover and rebuild until the next activity. So, to "cooling down”try this tips:

  • When you are coming to the end of your workout, gradually stop  and slow down the activity to allow the heart to calm down slowly;
  • Continue movement. Once you finish the exercise, continue to move for another 5 minutes;
  • Cool down. Keep moving until you stop sweating, and your skin is cold to the touch. During this time, drink water, sip by sip (not the whole bottle at once). When the sweat stops, your body has stopped the efforts to cool down – the body cools down when the sweat evaporates.
  • Stretch out. Once you've cooled down, stretch the muscles. In this manner, the body will relax and it regain the flexibility so it is easier to recover.
  • 30-60 minutes after exercise, take light snacks. Experts recommend anything that contains carbohydrates and protein, and certainly do not stop drinking water after exercise.

  4. Cold shower! After working out, I've this to be one the most helpful techniques - cold shower or cold water bath. I wrote an extensive article on this subject previously, and you can read all about it here. Cold water helps blood vessels shrink naturally, which will reduce the inflammation of muscles significantly and be sure that pain will be gone the next morning.

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