Delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, is something that we all have to live with if we’re serious about working out to improve our health and fitness. It’s that soreness and stiffness you feel in your muscles throughout the recovery period. There is no way to avoid it when you’re really pushing yourself. However, you can reduce it and make it all a lot less painful to deal with, as well. You don’t need a bunch of pills to do it, either. Here are natural ways to beat DOMS.
Warm-up and Cooldown
It might sound like obvious advice if you’ve ever read any workout guide in the past. However, if you’re experiencing serious DOMS that last for over 48 hours, then it’s likely because you’re not taking the time to warm up and cool down. When you don’t warm up, you don’t give your blood flow time to increase nor your muscles the time they need to get loose. As such, even if you don’t injure yourself during the exercise, you will be feeling a lot sorer once it’s done.
Maintain Your Hydration Levels
Hydration really is the answer to everything, from helping with hangovers to ensuring you have the energy to get through the day. It should be no surprise that it plays a key role in helping you get over your DOMS, as well. Electrolytes, which are produced when the body is hydrated, are depleted when we exercise. As such, combatting that lack of electrolytes is important. It’s why it’s a key ingredient in sports drinks used in gyms all across the world. However, when it comes to maintaining electrolyte levels in the long-run, water is better for you than any processed drink.
Improve the Flow of Oxygen
Getting oxygen around the body is, in part, what helps aid the recovery process. Improving your heart rate through high-intensity exercise and using a heart rate monitor is an effective way to make sure that every workout is strengthening that core organ, not just your muscles. However, you should also look at cherries and other foods that contain anthocyanins. These are known to improve the rate at which oxygen is transported around the body, which in turn can help you recover faster. Plus, cherries are pretty tasty as far as recovery foods go.
“No pain, no gain,” as they say. This makes it sound like DOMS is a good thing. However, the truth is that some pains have no benefit and there’s no point to suffering through them. Inflammation can do a lot more harm than good, and is a frequent problem for those who workout. There are a lot of medicines for dealing with inflammation, but on the natural side, you might not need more than CBD 1000mg to take care of it. As with any supplement, make sure that you consult your doctor before adding it to your diet. However, it has shown a lot of evidence for being good for helping to reduce inflammation, which has seen it become more popular in the fitness world as of late.
Sportsmen will take full body baths in cold water after a particularly strenuous workout. You might not have to go this far, but using ice packs or a bag of cold peas can help in a variety of ways. Having a shower that alternates from cool to warm can do the same. For one, it opens up the blood flow, helping to combat inflammation and helping to improve the transport of oxygen around the body. It also flushes the hormones that cause stiffness out of the muscles, helping you feel a little limberer and looser once you’re done.
Don’t Stay in Bed
Bed rest while injured or in pain is advice that’s well and truly out of date nowadays. If you stay in bed, you’re even more likely to injure yourself. Instead, look at examples of restorative movements that can help decrease muscle soreness. Active recovery can be sore to begin with, but any pain should start to ease off after a few minutes. This doesn’t mean you should push yourself to exercise if you’re experiencing DOMS, though. This is a very light level of physical activity designed to aid your recovery. Nothing too intense.
As mentioned, if you really push yourself during a workout, you’re going to need some recovery time. However, with the tips above, you can ensure you do the healing you need, but without having to take too much time to yourself.
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