It’s not uncommon for fitness enthusiasts to break a sweat in the gym and regret it the next morning. On the other hand, there are multiple other reasons why you may experience muscle fatigue, even if you’re the kind of person who leads a sedentary lifestyle. The most common causes of muscle soreness include stress, overuse, and tension.
The good news is, there are natural and effective ways for you to alleviate muscle ache, so here’s what you can do.
It may sound counterproductive, but the more you move, the less frequently you will experience muscle soreness. When blood flows through your muscles, this aids in providing them their needed nutrition, while your body adapts to a more active lifestyle. If you’re the kind of person who oversleeps, this is yet another cause of muscle soreness. Instead of hitting the gym or performing strenuous exercises on your already aching muscles, take a daily walk around your neighborhood or do some light cardio for a few minutes every morning.
2. Get a Massage
In order to alleviate muscle soreness, you need to eliminate the cause before you treat the symptom. Muscle aches occur when you perform strenuous exercises that your body is not used to, so make sure that you take it slow at the gym. However, you may still experience fatigue due to the accumulation of liquid in sore muscles. So a great way to instantly alleviate the pain is to simply get a massage. However, as explained by fitness enthusiasts in this article, you don’t have to head to an expensive salon; a massage gun can do all the work for you, on a budget, and from the comfort of your own home. You can also use your hands and some oil to gently massage any specifically sore areas on your body.
3. Stay Hydrated
One of the most important factors of muscle recovery is regularly replenishing your body with its needed intake of liquid. People who work out need to drink more water than those who lead sedentary lifestyles, while dehydration can also lengthen the time it takes for your muscles to recuperate. Fluids keep inflammation at bay and help deliver the needed nutrients to your sore muscles. You can keep your liquid intake in check by keeping an eye on the color of your urine; if it’s medium or dark yellow, this means you need to consume more liquid.
4. Regulate Your Diet
Protein intake also plays an important role in helping your muscles recover. As such, you need to regulate your diet and keep an eye on your protein intake. While the sedentary individual may consume 30 to 40 grams of protein, individuals who regularly work out may need more. Make sure you include plenty of lean proteins and fiber in your daily meals. It’s also advised to eat fewer carbs and to replace them with protein and leafy greens.
5. Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep may be the most crucial step in helping your muscles recover naturally. This is when all your organs recuperate, including your aching muscles. But sleeping long enough doesn’t mean that you’re getting your needed rest. If your sleep is interrupted frequently, or if you rarely get a good dose of deep sleep, this may be the reason why your muscle strength is compromised. You need to make sure that you sleep in a dark room, and to get at least seven hours of completely uninterrupted sleep.
6. Ditch the Painkillers
It may be tempting to pop an OTC painkiller, but this only treats the symptom and not the cause. Doing so may actually have an adverse effect on your muscle soreness, seeing as you will no longer have an indicator that stops you from applying pressure on damaged areas in your body. This may have you applying more tension on body parts that need to recuperate, and you’ll end up waking up feeling much worse in the morning.
7. Take a Break
If your muscles are extremely fatigued to the point that you can’t walk without wincing, you’ll need to take a break from working out or doing anything that may be strenuous on your muscles. Give your body the time it needs to recover, and the next time you hit the gym, make sure that you don’t go overboard with your routine. You’ll have to either cut the time of working out in half, or use lighter weights if you have to.
Sore muscles can be more than frustrating, and they can get in the way of a productive day. If you work out regularly, make sure that you stay hydrated and that you add enough protein in your meals. If you want instant relief, ditch the painkillers and opt for a massage instead. And if all else fails, you may need to take a break from strenuous exercise until the fatigue wears off.