It's a new year and if you are like millions of other people around the world, you have resolved to workout more, get stronger, be more fit. We applaud you. Loving and honoring your body though movement is so valuable. But starting a new routine comes with some challenges, and muscle soreness is one of them. Don't get discouraged!
Nobody likes the feeling of sore muscles after a workout (okay, so there might be some outliers) but muscle soreness is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) means that your fitness is improving. Yay! The good news is that your muscles will get accustomed to the demands you put on them when you continue to workout consistently.
Did you know that your muscles don't get stronger as you workout? Rather, muscle growth happens while you rest. When you do exercise like lifting weights, challenging yoga, or a difficult hike, your muscle fibers actually tear. After your workout, your body fuses new muscle fibers to the existing fibers resulting in bigger, stronger muscles. Those little tears are why your muscles feel sore. So I guess congratulations are in order!
While you're getting stronger (and that's always a good thing) it doesn't always feel so good. So here are some tips to reduce and shorten the soreness you feel after a hard workout.
- Get protein into your body as quickly as possible. Your muscles need amino acids to repair themselves. If you can get some form of protein quick then the more efficiently your body can begin to repair.
- Drink tart cherry juice. It's rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and helps decrease soreness.
- Use our Muscle Balm. This miraculous topical remedy dilates blood vessels which results in increased circulation. The increased blood flow speeds up your body's natural healing process.
- Icing and massage can also decrease the duration of muscle soreness. Although, massage can actually increase the intensity of the soreness at first, but then it seems to last a shorter amount of time.
Often people start a new fitness routine or start working out too intensely too quickly and get discouraged because of muscle soreness. To avoid this, start gradually and be consistent. When you give your body time to adapt to new movements you minimize muscle soreness.
So take your time and listen to your intuition when changing, starting, or increasing your fitness routine. And when you get a little sore, be proud of yourself for getting stronger.