Exercise and physical activity are renowned for their healing benefits, both on the mind and on the body.
It doesn’t matter whether you go running, you lift weights, you dance, take part in martial arts, swimming, cycling, or even just walking, after you take part in a physically demanding workout you will likely find that your muscles are sore and aching.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short, is a completely normal side effect of exercise, and in fact is a sign that you’ve taken part in an effective workout. It is caused by minor trauma to your muscles, I.E damaged muscle fibers, along with the accumulation of waste by-products of exercise such as lactic acid.
DOMS, and sore muscles after exercise in general, may be completely normal, but that doesn’t mean that they’re pleasant. DOMS can affect your mobility, they can affect your quality of sleep, they can affect future workouts, and they just generally leave you feeling uncomfortable and in slight pain.
The good news is that sore muscles following a workout can be eased, and here’s a look at a few ways how.
Foam rollers are incredibly popular with people who are looking to actively recover after a workout.
Foam rollers are basically made from metal tubes coated in a dense layer of thick foam. Some of them are smooth whereas others are rigid and bumpy.
Also known as self-myofascial release, a foam roller basically mimics the effects of a deep tissue massage and helps to break down muscle fascia within the body, thereby freeing up the muscles, alleviating pain and improving mobility.
These balms contain essential oils extracted from natural herbs which help to reduce inflammation, boost circulation, and ease muscle cramping and general pain and discomfort.
Simply massage a generous amount onto the muscles following a tough workout and let the balms work their magic.
Use specially formulated oils
These oils contain ingredient such as menthol, methyl salicylate, camphor, and more which work in very similar ways to how the balms do.
When applied to the skin and massaged onto the muscles, the oils provide a warming, yet cooling sensation. The active ingredients reduce swelling, ease muscle cramping, fight inflammation, and help to speed up circulation which speeds up oxygen transportation and boosts recovery rates.
Finally, as if you needed yet another reason to sleep and get an early night, now you have one if you’re looking to improve recovery rates.
When we sleep, our bodies do much of their repairing, helping to regenerate damaged muscle tissue and rebuild it bigger and stronger than it was previously.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you aren’t giving your body enough time to repair itself and recover after a tough workout.