Having sore muscles is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. It can make a simple task like climbing stairs or using a toilet seem as if it was the most challenging task ever. Muscle soreness is caused by a buildup of lactic acid, which is a byproduct of muscle metabolism.
When most of us complete a workout, that is when we are most likely to experience muscle soreness. This may deter us from further exercising due to fear of being in pain for days. But you don’t necessarily have to be in crippling pain following a workout. As long as you follow these helpful tips, you can reduce your muscle soreness and continue to exercise.
Tips to reduce muscle soreness
- Always listen to your body: If you push through an exercise even when your body is sending signals that you should slow down or stop, you are more likely to experience muscle soreness. Pay attention to when you need a break. Examples of this will be feelings of fatigue or cramping. Always ensure you are adding rest days to your workout routine as well so you don’t overdo it.
- Sleep well: Proper sleep helps improve recovery of muscles. Between seven to nine hours is recommended.
- Don’t overdo it: As mentioned, pushing yourself beyond your limits will trigger muscle soreness, and the further you push, the longer you will experience muscle soreness. Another consequence of overdoing it is you increase your risk of serious injury.
- Stay well hydrated: Muscle soreness is worse in people who are not well hydrated prior to their workout.
Dehydrated muscles do not contain enough electrolytes, which can contribute to muscle soreness. To prevent this, ensure you are drinking enough water throughout the day leading up to your workout and bring water with you to exercise. You may also consider a sports drink to help boost electrolyte levels.
By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of muscle soreness so you can continue to enjoy exercising instead of fearing it.
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