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Exercising is a large part of the lives of millions of people all over the world. You might be one of them. But, if you are, you might often over-exert yourself during a complete workout. While this is great for your muscle definition and strength training, it can be painful and dangerous if not appropriately handled following your activity.
Fortunately, looking after yourself following an intense session or activity such as a long-distance cycle isn’t too tricky. But it does require some discipline and essential things that you need to do for the maximum benefit.
Massage Affected Areas
The tensions exerted on your muscles during a workout, running or any other intense hobby cause them to contract and expand repeatedly. This causes lactic acid to build up, which results in pain. Oxygen is required to relieve the effects of lactic acid. Massage and circulation-boosting devices like shiatsu or compression socks (discover more here) will alleviate muscle tensions. They also increase blood flow by encouraging higher oxygen levels.
Relax and Get Comfortable
Following an extreme workout where you have pushed yourself, you need to move as little as possible as your muscles recover. Find your favorite spot, get comfy, and set up camp there because you aren’t going anywhere for a while. However, you should perform small movements to keep your muscles flexible. Small radials, for example, will help.
Hydration and Energy
Obviously, when you work out at an intense level, you lose vast amounts of moisture. Drinking water is key to replenishing any lost moisture. Still, it will also restore electrolytes and contribute to muscular pain relief. However, be careful not to drink ice water immediately after your workout. It can cause shock to the digestive system and cause stomach pains.
Nourishment and Energy
In addition to hydration, you need to eat properly after a workout. It will be natural for you to crave sugary food. Your body focuses on immediate energy replenishment, but this is the worst thing you can do. Instead, you will need natural sugars from high protein foods such as turkey, yogurt, and high-energy fruits like oranges.
Effectively Apply Temperature
A common practice in sports recovery is to use temperature-controlled applications. Heat and cold are effective at relieving some of the pain associated with an intense workout. Additionally, they affect muscles in different ways. Heat can help prevent elastic tissue damage, while cold can reduce myoglobin loss and muscle damage.
Perform Necessary Stretches
When beginning to recover, you must perform stretching exercises. However, stretching is most beneficial immediately after exercise when the muscles are warm and loose. Stretching will reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. This will help you to regain the full range of muscle motion you previously had before working out.
Give it Time
After a day or two, you will probably be eager to get back in the gym or to training. But this might not be the best thing for you to do. Under no circumstances should you exercise while your muscles are still sore, as you can exacerbate any damage. If your muscles are aching, it means they aren’t ready to get back to working out.