Six ways to help your muscles recover after a tough workout

Working out is an excellent way to stay in peak physical and mental health. Here are six ways to help your muscles recover after a tough workout.

Whether you’re able to exercise on a regular daily basis, or just a few times a week, making it a priority in your schedule is a good way to help stay healthy.

To keep things interesting and challenging, people tend to mix their workout routine up, working out different muscles each time, using a variety of exercises, and incorporating different activities.

Sometimes you will also push yourself harder than others, which can leave your muscles rather sore and tight afterwards.

Rather than let sore muscles slow you down, and keep you from your everyday activities, here’s are six ways that you can speed up muscle recovery after an especially tough workout.

1) Follow your workout with water

The very first step in speeding up the muscle recovery process is to follow each and every workout with proper hydration in the form of water.

The water will help to flush out toxins that are released during a workout, and it helps to ensure that muscles stay hydrated. When your muscles dehydrate, they can become sore.

2) Always stretch

It’s also wise to follow up each and every workout with some light stretches. These will help keep the muscles loose so they don’t lock up. Stretching can also help to prevent further pain and injuries. Stretches should actually be done on a daily basis, whether you work out or not.

3) Get a good night’s sleep

It is said that everything always seems better in the morning, and this can be true for your sore muscles too.

Of course, that is dependent on the mattress you have. So make sure you have one that is supportive, is ideal for the way you sleep, and addresses your particular sleep issues. If you work out regularly and regularly suffer from sore muscles, a sports mattress is a good option

Something like a memory foam mattress is a good example of a sports mattress. This type of mattress is said to ‘hug’ the body and can relieve those painful pressure points. At the same time, it promotes spine alignment and proper sleep position through its support.

4) Use muscle cream on targeted areas

If you have pain in a few specific spots you can always use a muscle cream. These are topical creams that are meant to alleviate the pain immediately and allow you to move around much easier.

5) Apply ice to sore muscles

If you’ve tried the topical creams and had no success, you may be better off using good old fashioned ice.

Applying ice to sore, tight muscles will help to alleviate the swelling that is contributing to the pain you are feeling. Just be sure to remove the ice pack after 20 minutes.

6) Take it a step further with a massage

If your muscles feel especially tight, and you just can’t seem to get relief, it may be time to book a sports massage. These types of massages are meant to break up any scar tissue in your muscles. At the same time, they will help to ease some of the pain that you are feeling. 

Bear in mind it may take a couple massages before you get total relief from the pain. As well, it’s best to combine massage with other techniques listed above.

The next time you push yourself that extra mile in your workout and end up suffering from sore muscles, give these tips a try to speed up the recovery process.

Photo by Scott Webb