‘Muscle soreness’ the struggle is real!
I am pretty sure you all will connect with me as I go ahead with this article. Recently, after a very long time, I decided to go healthy and start practising workouts. The initial days went quite well, but as the days passed, I decided to go one level up. So, I decided to try out a HIIT workout, and the very next day, I could not move any part of my body.
Yes, you have guessed it right… MUSCLE SORENESS… Not the most likeable part of a good workout right??
But have you wondered why we get muscle soreness?
Let me share some useful insights on it…
Why Do Our Muscles Get Sore?
Muscle soreness, also known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It signals the excess stress or damage to your muscles caused by performing any heavy exercise.
Consider you tried out a strenuous exercise or any new exercise the other day. And your body wasn’t prepared for it. This might lead to some pain or swelling in your muscles. This is often a result of your body initiating the repair process by triggering inflammation at the injured site.
Muscle soreness is likely to happen to everyone including professional athletes and bodybuilders as well. It will significantly improve as your body will adapt to your intensity of work-out. And, Do not Worry. The pain is completely normal and it means you are building much stronger muscles.
Some of the major causes of muscle soreness are:
● Beginning an activity or exercise for the first time
● Skipping warm-ups and cool-downs
● Increasing the strength of the activity
● Muscle strain in a specific part of the body
● Low levels of potassium in the body
● Overworked the muscle during exercise
Now let us see some ways to get relief from this sweet pain??
Home remedies for muscle soreness:
Performing RICE method
Now, what is the RICE method? No, It does not mean eating rice (Peace). RICE stands for:
● Rest: Taking enough rest and protecting the painful area
● Ice: Applying an ice pack on the swollen area
● Compression: Wrapping the swollen area with a bandage to reduce the blood flow henceforth reducing the swelling.
● Elevation: Keeping the region raised over the level of the heart to decrease swelling.
Consuming Anti-inflammatory food
Eating healthy and nutritious food is very important for our body. An antioxidant rich diet helps in relieving muscle soreness. Cherries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanin and catechins, which is used to fight inflammation. Some of the other inflammatory foods used for treating muscle soreness are Broccoli, Avocado, Berries, Mushroom, Ginger.
Consuming Potassium-rich diet
Muscle soreness mostly occurs due to low potassium levels in the blood. Potassium is used to transfer signals to the brain. Low levels of potassium cause delayed signals due to which muscle contracts slowly which causes muscle soreness and spasms. You can include Peas, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Pumpkins, Leafy greens into your diet plan to tackle muscle soreness.
Wearing a Compression Garment
Compression garments are pieces of clothing that fit tightly around the skin, such as socks, crepe bandage and leggings. These garments hold the muscle in place and also helps in increasing blood flow, leading to a faster recovery. It can be used for most of all muscles in our body.
Massage on swollen area
Giving a massage on the swollen area will relax the muscle and improve its performance. You can give yourself a massage with your favourite body oil. This will not only help you get rid of the pain but also make your skin smooth.
Apart from these home remedies, you can also do some stretches or asanas for faster relief…
Physical activities to relieve the pain in muscle soreness:
Stretching improves blood flow, increases flexibility, and significantly improves the range of motion. Some of the exercises for all the major muscle in our body is shown below:
Yoga is very helpful in pain management. In long term it makes us feel rejuvenated and energized. It is also able to treat chronic illness,(Yoga asanas) resets the body posture and provides flexibility. Some of the asanas to treat muscle soreness are as follow:
1. Dwipada Marajriasana (Bird Dog Balance)
It is used to strengthen the spine and shoulder
2. Ardha Pincha Mayurasana (Dolphin Pose)
It is used to strengthen the shoulder
3. Ardha Shalabhasana (Half Locust Pose)
It is used to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings
4. Supta Kapotasana (Supine Pigeon Pose)
It is used to strengthen the Glutes, piriformis and lower back
5. Nikunjasana (Extended Child Pose)
It is used to strengthen the shoulders and upper back.
Now, you have a wide range of exercises or yoga asanas to choose from when you get muscle soreness. Not only this, but you also have some simple home remedies which you can do to get relief. You can also just go for a long walk or jog to decrease the muscle soreness over time. Choose what you like the most and keep exercising and burning more calories.
And Remember, Muscle Soreness should not be a reason to stop exercising. It only signifies that you are growing strong with every intensity of the workout you are performing.
Keep Exercising and Stay Fit to have a Healthy and Mindful Living!