Post-workout high is a real thing, but so is muscle pain the day after. Simply ignoring your body's stiffness and getting straight back into it can create more problems and injuries, let alone the awkward newborn calf walk that occurs after leg day.
Here are four things you can do to relax your muscles and bounce back for the next session.
Don’t ditch warm ups and cool downs
Think of your muscles like an elastic band- stretching them makes it flexible but pulling at it too far with no warm-up can cause them to snap back painfully. Warm ups and cool down stretches are a great way to get your muscles ready for the work at hand. It also helps them recover from an intense workout so that you do not walk around in pain the next day. Remember to give your body enough time to get ready and relax at the end of each session. It is an easy hack to ease muscle pain.
Get a good rubdown
Rubbing down aching muscles can give you a feel-good pain. However, it will leave your body feeling more refreshed. Work through the knots by rubbing down with a foam roller or using your hands to help your muscles relax. This will help send the blood flow to this area to speed up recovery. Remember to take full advantage of your rest day by stretching and massaging your muscles. Avoid doing any strenuous workouts that can increase the pain.
Staying hydrated is equally important when it comes to reducing injury and muscle soreness. As you workout, your muscles require oxygen and adequate blood flow to flush out toxins which can be boosted by staying hydrated. Do this before, during and after workouts to give your muscles enough energy. It can also help you reduce your chances of injury.
Bend and stretch
Keep it moving by bending and stretching your muscles throughout your rest day. This can be achieved through yoga, going for a walk, or simply stretching out your body. Always remember to listen to your body. Should you feel any sharp or discomforting pain when stretching, it could be a sign of something bigger that will require medical attention.