A few hours after an intense workout, you’ll likely feel some muscle soreness. This is called delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. It’s a normal response to exercise and usually lasts for about 2 or 3 days.
You’ll feel sore and may also notice that your muscles are weaker and less flexible.
There are a few things you can do to help your muscles recover more quickly and reduce the severity of DOMS.
One of the best things you can do for your muscles is to massage them for 20-30 minutes shortly after the workout.
Massage helps increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps them recover more quickly. It also helps reduce inflammation, restore muscle function, and can improve your range of motion.
Foam rolling is similar to massage, but you can do it yourself.
Keep one of these foam rollers in your gym bag and use it on your muscles after a workout.
It’s beneficial for larger muscle groups like the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Compression garments are another option for helping your muscles recover more quickly.
You can find compression socks, tights, and shorts that can be comfortably worn after exercise.
These can reduce muscle soreness and get you back to your workout routine and performance levels more quickly.
Applying ice or cold packs to your muscles can also help reduce inflammation and pain.
Even better, soak in a cold bath for half an hour.
Cryo chambers and whole-body cryotherapy are other options, but these are not always readily available.
Eating a healthy diet is essential for overall health, but it’s especially important for athletes.
Before and after your exercise, eat foods that are high in protein. These help your muscles repair and rebuild.
It would be best to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will help prevent dehydration, which can make muscle soreness worse.
Rest and Light Activity
Finally, don’t forget the importance of rest.
During periods of rest, your muscles repair themselves and grow stronger.
So, make sure to get a full night of quality sleep and take days off from exercise when you need to.
You probably shouldn’t just stay in bed or on the couch all day on your days off. This may actually make your soreness worse.
Instead, do some light activities like walking or gentle stretching. This will help your muscles stay loose and prevent stiffness.
The bottom line is that any of these recovery methods can be helpful. Try a few and see what works best for you.