Just about everyone who works out has experienced muscle soreness at some point. That achy, stiff feeling you get a day or two after hitting the gym is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it’s perfectly normal. DOMS usually goes away on its own within a few days, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.
If you want to get rid of muscle soreness fast, here’s what you need to know.
Book a Massage Appointment
One quickest and most effective way to reduce muscle soreness is to book a massage appointment. Massage therapy can help to increase blood flow and circulation, which speeds up the healing process. It can also help to release tension in the muscles and connective tissue, providing relief from pain and stiffness.
If you don’t have time for a full massage, even a 15-minute chair massage can make a big difference. Look for a massage therapist who has experience treating athletes and is familiar with sports injuries. You can also use Google to search for the best massage therapists near me, giving you a list of options to choose from. The therapists will massage your body and pressure the right muscles to release tension.
Drink Lots of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is vital for overall health, but it’s also essential for reducing muscle soreness. When you exercise, your body loses fluids through sweating. This can lead to dehydration, which can make muscle soreness worse.
To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. You should also drink electrolyte-rich beverages, such as sports drinks or coconut water, if you’re exercising for more than an hour. If you’re unsure how much fluid you need, a good rule of thumb is to drink 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes of exercise.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Eating anti-inflammatory foods is one of the best ways to reduce muscle soreness. These foods help reduce inflammation and swelling, speeding up the healing process.
Some good anti-inflammatory foods to eat are salmon, berries, leafy green vegetables, and nuts. You should also avoid processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, as these can contribute to inflammation.
If you’re not sure what foods are anti-inflammatory, there are many resources available online and in cookbooks. You can also talk to a registered dietitian or nutritionist for more guidance.
Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath is one of the most popular ways to reduce muscle soreness. The heat from the water can help to increase blood flow and circulation, which can speed up the healing process. It can also help to relax tight muscles and relieve pain.
To get the most benefit from a hot bath, add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt and 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil. Then, soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes.
If you don’t have time for a bath, you can also try using a heating pad or taking a hot shower. It will not be as effective as a bath, but it can still help to reduce muscle soreness.
Use a Foam Roller
Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that can help to reduce muscle soreness. It works by breaking up muscles and connective tissue knots, which can promote healing. It can also help increase blood flow and circulation, relieving pain and stiffness.
To use a foam roller, simply place it on the ground and roll back and forth over the affected area. Start with gentle pressure and gradually increase as needed. Foam rolling can be painful, but it should not be excruciating.
If you don’t have a foam roller, you can use a tennis or lacrosse ball instead. Just place the ball under the affected area and apply pressure as needed. You’ll slowly start to feel the knots release.
Stretch It Out
Stretching is an important part of any exercise routine, but it’s especially important if you want to reduce muscle soreness. Stretching helps lengthen the muscles and connective tissue, promoting healing. It can also help increase blood flow and circulation, relieving pain and stiffness. Other than that, it just feels good!
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds or more to get the most benefit. You can also do dynamic stretches and active movements that help warm up the muscles.
If you’re unsure how to stretch properly, many resources are available online and in fitness books. That will give you some guidance. You can also talk to a certified personal trainer or physical therapist for more advice.
There are many ways to reduce muscle soreness, but these are some of the most effective. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, eat anti-inflammatory foods, take a hot bath, use a foam roller, and stretch it out. You’ll be feeling better in no time with a bit of care!