Physical exercise can cause soreness or stiffness, especially if you're not doing it on a regular basis, you're a beginner, or you push yourself particularly hard. It's a result of your muscles being over-exerted and can last up to a week in some cases. It's causes by microscopic tears in your muscles or a build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid can be broken down, as long as your workout is followed by a cool down. Although you may not be able to eliminate all the muscle soreness, there are ways to reduce it.
Things You'll Need
- Epsom salt
- Anti-inflammatory medication
Warm-up before you start. This is key in reducing soreness. Working out without a warm-up can be very damaging, and cooling down is just as important. Before doing any strenuous cardio or weightlifting, do some light movements such as leg lifts, torso twists or walking. Stretching is important to do after the workout. Stretching before the muscles are warm can cause slight tears and inflammation. When the workout is over, stretch your muscles and cool down slowly.
Know your limits. You can avoid or reduce muscle soreness by not pushing yourself beyond your current ability. If you haven't worked out in a while, you might experience soreness -- even with moderate exercise -- but be aware of when your muscles start to feel taxed. Do not push to the point of exhaustion, because you can seriously injure yourself by pulling or tearing ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Take a warm bath. Heat helps to relax the muscles and adding Epsom salt to your bath can be even more beneficial in reducing soreness. It contains magnesium and sulfates that will help to relieve tension, inflammation and pain. Also take an anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter medication such as Advil or ibuprofen.
Rest your muscles. If you're extremely sore, give your muscles a rest for a couple of days. Don't go too long in between workouts, or you could get sore all over again. Give yourself one or two days off. Muscles need time to repair.
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