The old adage goes something along the lines of: “If you’re not sore, you didn’t work hard enough.” While it’s true that pushing yourself and achieving the full effect of your cardiovascular workout should work your muscles, it doesn’t mean that you should be in pain for days afterward.
You may feel uncomfortable 24-48 hours after vigorous exercise. But, there are ways to mitigate and avoid much of the pain and discomfort with a few easy strategies.
Healthy Tips — Before You Start…
It’s never too late to implement strategies and healthy living practices that will help prevent injuries, pain, and soreness.
Here are just a few tips that you should help you put into practice an effective exercise routine that won’t leave you in pain and agony.
It may sound too simple, but it really does work. Before you start, be sure to warm up your muscles, swing your arms, and start slow before you start a full-tilt workout. Then, stretch your muscles when you’re done with your workout as well.
The purpose of stretching is to allow your muscles to get ready for exercise so that you don’t pull, strain, or tear a muscle.
Particularly if you haven’t been regularly exercising, it’s best to start off with exercises with activities that are not as strenuous or demanding on your body. Try walking or swimming.
Once you’ve gotten into a regular routine, you can work up to other, more high-impact exercise if you are looking to push yourself more.
What Can You Do if You’re In Pain After Exercise?
If you’ve followed the tips by stretching and starting out slow, and you’re still in pain, there are simple but effective remedies that can help speed up your recovery and also make you feel more comfortable.
The R.I.C.E. therapy is a series of commonly recommended strategies for addressing the pain and discomfort while encouraging recovery and healing. It’s simple:
- Rest: Give your body enough time to recover. Take a break. Sometimes just the act of sitting down and taking a break can do wonders for your aches and pains.
- Ice: Use an ice pack on the sore area for 20-minute intervals. It can also help with swelling and discomfort.
- Compression: A compression bandage can offer effective relief for minor strains and sprains. It immobilizes the area and gives your body a chance to recover.
- Elevation: When you keep the body part above the heart, it’s a great way to reduce swelling, and also help to alleviate pain. It’s usually enough to put your feet up if you’ve twisted your ankle.
Often, these therapeutic techniques are used simultaneously. If your pain is extreme, or if your discomfort is combined with dizziness, severe muscle weakness, a fever, or trouble breathing, it’s important to check in with your doctor.
It’s also important to allow yourself a chance to relax between workouts. Beyond just sitting down for a few minutes, you can try taking a hot bath with Epson salt to relax your muscles or getting a massage to relieve the tension and work out the sore muscles.
Why is it so important to Deal with Muscle Pain & Soreness in Healthy Ways?
Exercise is fun, and it can be enjoyable if you approach it in the right way. Pain and soreness just have a way of making exercise feel like you’re being tortured for trying to get healthy. That’s not what any of us wants.
Don’t torture yourself, but do find ways to start out and continue pursuing the healthy exercise routine that we all want and need. It not only will help you feel better, but it has positive effects on your sleeping patterns. It will even help you handle stress better, and elevate your mood. Ultimately, perhaps the best benefit of exercise it will help us live longer.
So, we all need to find healthy ways to deal with muscle pain & soreness. That way exercise can become the positive, fun, and euphoric experience we all need.