First, let us tell you why muscles become sore after working out?
Whenever you engage in an unusual level of physical activity like lifting weights or jogging, or simply moving heavy furniture, you create microscopic tears in your muscle tissue (this is normal). When your body rebuilds the damaged muscle it grows back bigger and stronger than before. This is the same mechanism that athletes and bodybuilders use to become faster, bigger & stronger. As a general rule, the more you exert yourself, the more microscopic tears you create, and the more soreness you feel later on as the muscles are being repaired by your body.
So, how can you reduce sore muscles, or even prevent them. We’ve got all the tips for you.
Warm up: Warming up before your workout prepares your muscles & your body for the real workouts. It raises blood temperature to flow better to muscles. Better blood flow reduces muscle damage from workouts.
Stretch after workout: We told you before, always stretch after your workouts. Post your workouts, your muscles become tight. Stretching them improves blood flow which reduces delayed onset muscle soreness, also known as DOMS. In case of a medium intensity workout, stretching post workout can prevent sore muscles completely.
Change your workouts: Ensure you are targeting different muscles in consecutive workouts. This gives your muscles time to recover.
Eat the right post workout snack: Feed your muscles with the right post workout snack, rich in carbohydrates & protein, so your muscles can repair themselves fast. Keep it in liquid form, for faster absorption.
Get a massage: Massages improve blood flow, so they benefit muscle recovery.
Light workouts: So, you worked your legs today and your leg muscles get really sore. Do a 2-4 light sets on legs the next day. This light workout gets the blood flowing, warms up the muscles, and reduces muscle soreness.
Sleep: Among the benefits of sleep, is that it helps your muscles recover better & relieves muscle soreness. Get 8 hours of sleep for maximum benefit.
Rest: If nothing works, just give them some rest and relaxation. It just maybe that your muscles are over-trained, and need a longer recovery period.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo