“I regret that workout!” said
no one ever me last Sunday!
Or so I thought.
Admittedly, I haven’t been working out for the last couple months. I haven’t been all that motivated to get to the gym other than for my once-a-week boot camp class that can be REALLY tough. I really like that class because it is tough, the people that go are great, and the instructor is amazing! Because the class is on Sundays, I missed class a lot because of vacations, other commitments, and just plain lack of motivation at times, I haven’t gone in about two months! So now that its January and I’m able to get back to some semblance of a workout routine, I thought I would jump back in with two feet—to the hardest class my gym offers! Maybe not the best move.
Halfway into the hour-long class, it hit me that boot camp probably shouldn’t have been the first workout I did after not working out for a few months. I actually started thinking “I really, really hope I don’t pass out. Or puke!” I got a drink of water and took it easy for a minute and was fine. Whew!
When class was over, I was at first proud of myself for getting through it and not being a wimp. Then I realized that I was going to be sore! For days. Bad sore! I’ve had sore muscles for four or five days after this class in the past. This time was going SO MUCH WORSE! It’s been months.
When I got home, I decided to all the things to prevent that kind of soreness! I soaked in an Epsom salt bath, took a turmeric capsule, used my arnica muscle cream, kept moving, and tried CBD oil (first time using it for this purpose)!
Despite all that, I still expected to be at least somewhat sore the next day. I woke up the next morning and felt pretty darn good! But… sometimes it takes closer to 36 hours for the soreness to set in. But that evening, I was still feeling good. I wasn’t sore! I could tell I worked out—you know that good kind of not-really-sore feeling, but just enough to know you-did-your body-some-good feeling! I’ve done things to prevent soreness in the past with success, but this is the first time I did ALL of the things, and let me tell you, it really worked!
So here are my 5 tried and true recommendations of what to do after a workout to prevent soreness!
One more thing. Do these within a few hours of your work out. They work to prevent soreness—not as effective after the fact!
1. Epsom Salts bath
This is hands down my favorite way to relieve muscle soreness! Magnesium is great for soothing sore muscles, and an Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) bath allows your body to absorb magnesium through your skin. This is one of the best ways to get magnesium. Did you know that 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient? So, chances are you can use more! Not only is a hot soak in the tub relaxing on its own, the magnesium is a very effective muscle relaxer. If you do only one thing off this list, do this! It works great!
Added benefit: If you suffer from restless leg syndrome like I do, an Epsom salts bath can help me go days without symptoms!
Here’s the secret for effective muscle relief with an Epsom salts bath. Don’t wait too long! Take a bath within a few hours of your workout. Use A LOT of Epsom salts ! Add at least 4 cups of Epsom salts to a hot bath. Soak and relax for 20-40 minutes. Add lavender essential oil for more relaxation. Drink some water while bathing or immediately after to keep hydrated.
Turmeric is a root that is used to flavor many Indian dishes like curry. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory agent. Taking 2250 mg after your workout and again before bed following a hard workout, helps me to wake up with much less soreness. You can take it as a supplement (I like this one) or incorporate fresh or ground turmeric root into a meal—yum!
I use my own muscle rub that contains arnica, magnesium, and essential oils, but you don’t have to use mine! Look for a cream that contains arnica (or use mine). Arnica is a natural plant extract hat has pain relieving properties.
Never get lazy after a work out! Keep moving. Even if you’re so tired you want to plop down on the couch and never get up! Keep moving—it makes a difference! When you are so exhausted that you just want to sit down afterward and not get up, your muscles will start to stiffen much sooner and much worse than if you keep moving. You don’t need to do anything strenuous, just move. For me doing basic housework is great. If I work out on my lunch break at work, I absolutely have to get up and walk around the office every 30 minutes or so.
5. CBD oil
This one is relatively new for me, but I am finding CBD oil helpful in reducing minor menstrual discomfort and muscle soreness. I used it in conjunction with everything else on this list, and it just may have been the extra thing that really kept me from feeling the post work out pain! CBD (legal in all 50 states) works with your own cannabinoid system, resulting in relaxation and pain relief. I like Charlotte’s Web 23 mg, but there are hundreds of brands and strengths to choose from.
OK, one more…
If you follow the first 5 tips, hopefully you feel pretty good the next day, but if you have a bit of tightness, gentle yoga can help loosen things up. It was just coincidence that I had a yoga class the next day. I wasn’t sore, but the good stretch still felt great and still helped.
The next time you do a really tough workout try some of these. Or try all of them. Let me know what you think!
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