This article couldnt have come at a better time. I seriously know better, but my calves are still aching because I have over done them again on the weekend! Resting them for only 1 day was not enough, and then I pushed myself through a combination cardio session which included step, lots of jumping, skipping, and jogging!! Oops...now I am injured again!
This is from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean newlsetter, and I wanted to share!
The Sweet Pain of Strength Training
While the soreness I feel after a good workout is a bit uncomfortable, it’s a sweet pain that tells me I’ve worked really hard in my training session. I wear that soreness like a badge of honor!
However, for beginners and experts alike, intense soreness can turn you off of the gym. This week, I’ve got five tips to help you alleviate muscle pain after a training session so you aren’t discouraged from returning to the gym.
1. Prevention is Key. Warm up before your workout and cool down afterwards to avoid workout-induced pain. It’s important that you stretch out your muscles to encourage healing and repair of muscle tissue. Your workouts, whether cardio or strength training, should be appropriate to your fitness level. That means they should offer you a challenge but they shouldn’t strain you excessively.
2. Suit Up. Having the right equipment for your activity is extremely important. Your shoes are an essential part of the equation because they provide you with proper stability and cushion your joints from impact. I also like to bring gloves to the gym to give me a better grip on the machines. This allows me to perform exercises with more control and, just in case, prevents the weights from slipping out of my sweaty hands.
3. Kill the Pain. When my muscles are especially sore, I add 2 cups of Epsom salts to a warm bath and soak in them for 30 minutes. The salts slow down the inflammatory response occurring deep down in muscle tissue, resulting in reduced muscle pain and swelling. Topical agents are also useful for alleviating pain. Look for products with menthol and camphor as they both help block inflammation.
4. Take a Rest. It is very important that you allow a muscle group to rest after you’ve trained it. When you train with weights, you are producing little tears in your muscles. After a workout, your body repairs these tears with new muscle tissue. It also adds a bit of extra tissue to make the area stronger resulting in muscle growth. If you don’t allow those muscles to rest properly, your body doesn’t have time to repair that tissue. As a result, your muscles will remain sore for a longer period of time and you will slow the progress of your muscle growth.
5. Eat Clean. This is a given. For rapid recovery after a workout, you need to Eat Clean. Complete proteins such as grilled chicken breast, egg whites or natural protein powder are optimal. These foods provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to repair and build muscle tissue.
Your body is always talking to you, so make sure you listen! If you’re feeling intense soreness for more than 48 hours after your workout, then you’ve pushed yourself too hard. If you continue to exercise through extensive soreness you risk not only injuring yourself, but also reduced energy, insomnia and mood swings.
For more tips on working out, get The Eat-Clean Diet® Workout.
Keep it Tight!