Muscle soreness: it’s one half rewarding and one half annoying. Sore muscles are just a part of the process of a fitness journey. During our workouts, we physically break down muscle cells (that’s actually a good thing!). Then, we build those muscles back up bigger and stronger through proper rest and recovery. Here are 5 thing I do to combat sore muscles.
I will be the first to admit/share that I am not the most consistent person when it comes to stretching. However, when I’m really crushing my workouts, I have to make time for stretching to aid in the recovery process. There are 2 types of stretching: dynamic and static. For the sake of sore muscles, I like to add in a bit more static stretches.
DYNAMIC STRETCHING: movements in which we move the body gradually and can increase the range of motion with every repetition. As the name implies, “dynamic” stretches or movements are those in which we move as we stretch. The goal of dynamic stretching is to prepare the joints for movement and the muscles for optimal engagement. I do this before a workout
STATIC STRETCHING: on the contrary, these stretches involve a move that isolates one muscle and that a position is held for a longer period as opposed to moving through a range of motion. For example, a hamstring stretch held for 45 seconds.
2. EPSOM SALT BATH
Epsom salt has been a go-to for aches and pains for hundreds of years. In water, epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. These compounds travel though the skin to take effect. Now, there aren’t many studies to prove this- it’s kind of an old wives’ tale. In my opinion, I am a big believer in incorporating holistic health. A warm bath alone can help with muscle soreness and achy joints, so I love my epsom salt baths. I buy THIS one and THIS one and love the calming, relaxing effects from the essential oils as well.
My mom who is a nurse always says “motion is lotion.” If I am sore and achy, the worst thing thing I can do it sit on it. I need to keep the bus moving. It seems silly to go for a walk when you’re sore, but that’s exactly what I do.
WORKOUT TIP: proper workout programming is key in combating muscle soreness. Programming refers to the workout split or what days of the week targets which muscle group. For example, if Monday you train legs, Tuesday’s workout could be arms; this type of programming allows your legs to be sore but your arm muscles fresh. I never hit a muscle group back to back without sufficient recovery, which is why proper programming is a big deal.
4. RECOVERY SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are intended to supplement a healthy lifestyle. I like to think of them as fill in the gaps, and we all have different gaps. For example, my husband eats 5 different fruits and vegetables a day. I, on the other hand, do not, so a greens supplement is a gap I can fill.
For muscle soreness and recovery there are a few supplements I really like: protein, collagen and CBD lotion. Sufficient protein plays a key role in muscle synthesis and recovery; it can be difficult to eat enough, so I like to use a whey protein supplement to help me hit my daily protein goal. I use collagen (THIS one) every day; our natural collagen products slows with age, so it’s important to fill that gap through supplements. I’ve also been loving CBD lotion lately to help relax achy muscles.
Finally, for me, sleep is the magic ingredient in muscle recovery. I wish I didn’t require so much sleep, but I’ve notice that my muscles, anxiety, mood and overall well being are directly correlated to how much I sleep at night. It’s worth making it a priority!
Here are a few tips that help me sleep better and longer:
- clean room- it has to be tidy for me to feel at peace
- scent- it just sets the mood for tranquility
- fresh sheets- I love washing my sheets regularly; I swear I sleep best on clean sheets
- minimalism- kind of the same as a clean room but less stuff in my room = more peaceful
- TV > phone- I can’t say “no screen time” but I notice I am more relaxing watching an actual television as opposed to my phone
- CBD- I sleep like a rock!